(Closed) Name change ansgt – practical issues with the different options? (long)

posted 4 years ago in Names
Post # 4
Member
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I struggled with the whole name change issue. I loved my last name and I didn’t want to replace my middle name with it because if we have a child that will be her middle name.  I didn’t even fully know if I would change my name even after I filled out the marriage certificate.  There are a ton of boards on here about changing names and people’s opinions about them.

In the end I guess part of me knew I would change my name.  You always imagine when you are little that you will become Mrs So and So so the concept of changing my name was there, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it. My friend got married a couple months before me and mentioned when she saw her madien name she forgot it was her.  That’s what really resonated with me – she was right.  Think of all the things that you agonized about and then they happen and it’s never a big deal.  In a couple months/year or so my new name will be my identity!  You won’t be the first or the last person that’s published or has a degree in a different name. It happens every day.

I did make my madien name a middle name so I am first name, middle name, madien name, Husband’s last name.  This way I can sign using whatever middle name I want and at work I kept everything my madien name.   My license has my First name, Middle Initials and Last name on it.  As far as dsignating a middle name you just do it on the social security form.  I haven’t had problems so far (although I imagine there are places that probably think that my two middle inititals are a name instead of two names – hahaha!)

Post # 5
Member
13 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Your legal name in the US is what appears on your Social Security card. Also, you can have as many names as you want provided you have one or sometimes two (like “Ana Maria”) first names and a legal last name. Whatever and however many you put in the middle is up to you. I legally have a first name, two middle names and a last name. I’ve never had a problem with this, and for a “middle initial,” I use the first middle name initial on everything.

I’m an attorney and have an established career under my maiden name (not to mention publications and degrees). I’m still planning on taking my FI’s last name when we get married, because I want to. Legally, I guess I’ll have five names, since I don’t intend to drop any of my names. Most people would think this would be a nightmare scenario, but my older sister did this and she hasn’t had a problem.

As for professional vs. legal, what is generally meant is that your “legal” work documents such as your W-4 all are filed under your legal name (it’s the law so the government is able to track income tax payments, among other things). However, things like your email and your work signature and whatever people call you at work still remain under your maiden name (like being named Katherine and going by Kate). I think this is a good compromise for people who want to maintain their professional identity when they change their legal name (for the record, it’s quite common for female attorneys to do First Maiden HisLast professionally, and none of the names are ever “lost”).

Having said all that, I know so many mothers who did not change their names, including my younger sister, and it’s never been an issue. Not changing your name is just as common as changing your name depending on the area you live in (I live in a major metro city). With so many blended families now becoming the “norm,” I don’t see why not matching your child’s name should keep you from keeping your name, if that’s what you choose to do.

Post # 6
Member
2378 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

So, I worked at a bank for a little while and my fiance is a programmer.  Hyphenation is a nightmare.  Don’t do it.  Smith-Jones is different than Smith – Jones is different than SmithJones…you get the idea.  Same with apostrophies.  Most financial, medical and educational systems are programmed for an exact match, and any kind of name punctuation screws it up entirely. 

Also, if you live in IL, and are just getting married in WI, then the WI rules don’t matter.  However, in both IL and WI, you’re legally allowed to change your legal name for any reason as long as the names are not offensive, that you’re not trying to hide a crime and that you’re not on the sex offender list.  The only thing is that since you’re doing middle name only, it may not count for the free marriage name change.  You may have to file a name change petition in court for a couple hundred $. 

I know many women who kept their maiden names, including those in my family.  One doesn’t have kids, but the rest of them do.  They’ve not had any problems with the banks or anything else – a joint account holder has the same rights to the account regardless of marital status.  Realistically, with so many people being divorced, remarried, keeping maiden names, making up new names and everything else, it’s not that big of a deal anymore in any kind of metro area.  You might get weird eyebrow raises if you’re out in the boondocks, but eh.  Screw them and the judgy looks.

Post # 8
Member
2378 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@pastrygirl: From a purely practical, unromantic perspective – I’d wait until after the wedding and you’re settled to make a decision.  Then if you want, you can put in a name change petition in whatever state you’re a resident of.  Yes, you’ll probably have to pay $200-$300 for it, but not having that stress combined with school, wedding, moving and everything else is worth it.  Plus that way you can take your time and decide what you want or don’t want to do with your names. 

Post # 9
Member
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

For the health insurance issues you’ll simply need your marriage certificate and his insurance should put you on no problem since it’s  a “life event”. You usually have 30 days from the date of the wedding to do that, so just have him go to his HR after the wedding.  However you should know what you are doing with you name when he adds you, but I’m sure they can change the name later if need be.  

As far as your residency – it doesn’t matter what state you’re a residence in for social security.  You just go to whatever office and change your name there.   You can always change it for social security/health insruance purposes and then wait on the driver’s license and everything else until you decide where to live.  You just don’t want to have a bunch of items in one name and no id for that name (ie bank card in madien name and driver’s license in new name – it could be an issue).  However you wouldn’t want to wait too long to change everything else in case something happens.  

I have heard of all the issues with the double names which is why I did the two middle names.  My husband is Latino as well and had no problems with me having whatever version of the name I wanted and was glad I kept my madien name in some format.

Post # 11
Member
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I haven’t read all the comments above, but I was in a similar boat. I’m an academic and have published under my name. My first name is unique and sounds good with my exotic-ish last name, and really blah with his very anglo-saxon last name. So I decided not to take his name. He’s bummed, and I think his family is too, but it was the right decision for me. It just didn’t feel right, and I needed to follow my instinct. That doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t change it later on should I feel the need. The great thing about assuming your partner’s name (rather than legally changing it) is that you can do it at any time. So if you feel compelled somewhere down the road, you have the flexibility to do that.

Just something to keep in mind as you move forward with your decision. 🙂

Post # 13
Member
2378 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@pastrygirl:  You’re fine on the residency requirements.  Provided both of you are out of state residents, Dane County will waive the residency requirement for a $25 fee. As long as you’ve got a valid NC license, you’re good to go. 

http://www.countyofdane.com/clerk/marriage_license.aspx

And I believe you’re correct, that the certificate just lists the maiden and his last names.  Regardless, you can take your time on changing it if you decide to do so.  Worst case, you’ll spend a couple hundred dollars.

Post # 14
Member
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I kept my name and plan on having kids. I haven’t ran into any issues and we’ve cashed checks written to the both of us.

also, I have two last names, and I haven’t ran into any issues because of that either

 

it simply sounds like you dn’t want to change it. then don’t!

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