Post # 1
I’m in the processing of earning my doctorate in the sciences, so as you can imagine, name changes will affect my professional life quite a bit. I know that there are various options for handling a change professionally, but I think it would be best to keep my maiden name professionally.
The problem is that I am DYING to change it legally to my new husband’s name. I don’t even want to keep my maiden name as a middle name. Will there be a problem at some point down the road if I change my legal name, my SS, my DMV, all my bills and things…….. but professionally introduce myself as Dr. Maidenname and that’s the name on my other degrees?
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2010 - Claxton Farm
Could you legally hyphenate and use your husband’s name for personal and everything-but-work and publish/work under your maiden name?
This is my plan, since I have some professional experience under my maiden name, but I want to take Mr. Snow’s name too.
That way, both names are represented on your passports, DMV records, SS card, etc.
Post # 4
I had a big decision to make with this also …
Im a resident, so even though I have my MD, I don’t have a very large patient base yet, nor do I plan to stay in this area..its a big deal to my fiance and I think its an honor to take his last name so I am..
The fact that my degree is going to be a different name really doesn’t bother me, it bothers my family though..but i just decided its a decision that we came to together..and more importantly I want the same last name as my kids..
If I was more established in my career and had lots of patients I would probably at least change my middle name to my maiden name
Post # 5
if your going to publish under your maiden name, that may be a big deal to change it
Post # 6
I think that you can go ahead and change your name with everything and just not change it in your work life. I don’t think it will cause any confusion except that you might need to be paid under your married name so that the ssn and name match your tax returns.
Post # 7
I understand what you are going through. I already have a publication under my maiden name, but have already decided to completely get rid of my name for my husbands once we are married. I know it will make my professional life more complicated, but I would rather just change my name early and deal with the ambiguity for the next few years than to be confusing people with multiple names later in life.
Post # 8
All of my professional publications are under my married name…from my previous marriage. I hyphenated it when I got divorced in an attempt to keep the legal ramifications as minor as possible, and then ran into the same problem as I am getting married again. I have decided to change to my FI’s name. It is important to him that I do so, and my (new) married name will be short and sweet and easy to remember, and I want to have the same last name as my future children.
I would discuss it with your Fiance and find out his feelings on the issue. Some men have really strong ideas about this, and others don’t care. Hyphenation is always an option too, though it can be kind of a pain.
Post # 9
I’m not a doctor so I don’t have any advice as far as that goes, but I’ve heard from several people that hypenating is a HUGE pain. So, if for some reason you do decide you want to have 2 last names I hear it’s actually easier to just leave the hypen out.
Post # 10
Thank you very much everyone for your input.
My Fiance and I have discussed it and he would be happy with whatever I chose. I want to legally have his last name with no hyphens, just because I really like his last name better than mine and don’t worry about identity. 😉
The only thing I wonder is that somewhere down the road someone will say, “Wait, the last name on your Ph.D. isn’t the same as your legal name… this isn’t you!” I just wonder whether there will be some kind of problem, but I don’t see why – I’ve never heard of someone going back and asking their college to re-issue their bachelor’s diploma simply because they got married or legally changed their name.
What do you think?
Oh, and I do think it would be kinda neat to professionally change my last name as well, but I feel that I should keep it to honor my family – I kinda feel like my academic victories are theirs as well and I think it would make my dad quite happy.
Post # 11
I changed my name (to my now ex-husband’s name) halfway through law school, so my juris doctor diploma has my ex-husband last name (it’s first, maiden, ex’s last, which helps as far as the identity issue is concerned. When I got divorced, I had to go through changing it back (including with the state bars and courts I’m admitted to, which is a giant PITA). I’m also published under my former name. For my marriage with Fiance in December, I’m not changing my name again; I’ll keep my maiden name both professionally and socially – and he’s fine with that (he’s a Ph.D., so he completely understands what it’s like).
I would either keep your maiden name for everything but social activities, or make your name First Maiden NewLast. 🙂
Post # 12
I think if you just told people that you published under your maiden name, they’d understand. If it was for some really serious like government high level job, then maybe you’d have to show your marriage license or name change document as proof. But women changing their names for marriage is so common I doubt anyone wouldn’t get it.
And you could always just legally keep your maiden name as a second middle name, so it’ll show up on your driver’s license and you’d always have proof that that used to be your name right there in your purse.
Post # 13
I am struggling with this issue. I am a physician in private practice and am changing my name, but trying to navigate that with medical license, insurance companies, etc. I am changing to Myfirst Mymiddle Mylast HisLast, and professionally will be Dr. Myfirst Mylast Hislast. Anyone who has been in my shoes?
Post # 14
I plan on doing what you’re doing @guitargirl. Changing my name to his but making sure my last name now stays in my name. I think I’ll also continue to use my last name for publications. Right now I’m just hanging in limbo land until I decide what to do.
Post # 15
@guitargirl: I’m doing almost the same thing. Changing legally to Myfirst Mymiddle Mylast Hislast, but going to stay Dr. Mylast professionally and be Mrs. Mylast Hislast at home. Confusing? Yes. Fun? Totally! Go two identities.
Post # 16
Because of my publications and my job, I elected to keep my maiden name and add his last name as a middle name… I’ve had this name my whole life, and I didn’t feel really attached to his. For me, this wasn’t just a professional decision, but also a personal one. I still am who I am and I want my name to reflect that 🙂