Post # 1
Basically, both Fiance and I have last names with histories we’re not proud of, so neither of us want to keep our own names, but we’re not comfortable with taking the other’s name either. However, we want to share a last name after marriage.
We’ve been playing with the idea of us sharing a new last name, or maybe taking the last name of my grandparents, who we are proud of.
In the US, Illinois specifically, what would the actions to make this happen look like? Would we just put the new name on the marriage license? Can we both change our names simultaneously like that?
Post # 2
Changing a name for both wouldn’t be much more difficult than changing the name for one. Usually you change it after marriage though so both birth names would be in the marriage ceritificate.
Post # 3
BabyInACorner: I’ve never lived in IL. However, the Social Security office in my state told me you have to petition at court to change your last name if you’re not taking your spouse’s name or hyphenating.
Post # 4
BabyInACorner: Not exactly sure about the rules in IL, but I know that it is generally more difficult to do what you want to do than for a woman to just change her name after marriage.
You will most likely need to petition the court for a name change. IMO the easiest thing for you to do, if you have time before the wedding, is to have him legally change his name. That way you will just be doing the typical after-marriage name change, rather than having to petition the court as well.
ETA: In my state, new names aren’t on marriage licenses at all. You fill out and sign with your old name, then after you are married you can decide to change your name or not and the license is your ticket to being able to do so, because you are taking a spouses name, which is also on the license. It would not be the same if you were just picking a completely new name.