Name change dilemma… Looking for advice

posted 7 months ago in Traditions
Post # 2
1092 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t know what the legalities are for you, but in Canada, the married name is “assumed”. Meaning you are granted legal right to use it, your maiden name, or a combination of both, at any time. Your name is never “legally changed”

I question why you would want to confuse the issue and switch back and forth .. . In my first marriage we just added my married name onto the end, it was easy to remove later. I’ll likely do the same with this upcoming marriage. 

Post # 3
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

For you, I’d keep your maiden legally but use his socially. I can’t really think of any negatives.

But, I’d wait until closer to the wedding to discuss. It might be more palatable by then.

Also divorced and hated the name change process. Also struggling with taking his. But in our case we plan to have a kid.

Post # 4
2352 posts
Buzzing bee

I kept my maiden name and if people call us Mr & Mrs I dont correct them. 

At the time my fiancee was hurt that I didnt take his name. He got over it. But I learned not to tell people I didn’t take his name or he’d get super offended and butthurt over it. 

When I am sending X mas cards to his family I put his last name. Everyone else I put mine.

Honestly, since you had to go through hell to change it back I wouldn’t change it again. 

Post # 5
75 posts
Worker bee

I am also a divorcee and took back my maiden name after my divorce.  I won’t ever change it again! 

Professionally I’m known under my maiden name now and the process to change a last name is such a hassle.  And the whole professional vs legal name, I can’t wrap my head around. All my work documents and my work ID are tied to my name on my social security card and that’s the name I “have to” go by…. 

Post # 6
9460 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I did not legally change my name after marriage but do go by my husband’s last name socially. Though, honestly what my last name is rarely comes up. Seriously, my in-laws just learned I never changed my name and we got married 2.5 years ago. Thus far, there have been no long term implications of this other than someone occasionally writing the wrong last name on a check but that’s an easy fix after I explain it to my bank.

I really don’t think you can compare a 3 minute dance at the reception to changing your name. Those are not equal if I do this for you, then you should be willing to do that me for” things. They are completely different. Not everything in marriage is tit-for-tat. Yes, there’s give and take and you can’t be completely selfish in a relationship but sometimes I do something for my husband purely because I love him not at all because down the line somewhere he’ll do something for me.

Post # 7
783 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

I think you really need to just sit down and have a real talk with your spouse about the whole name change thing, rather than just make assumptions based on a couple of jokes. Until then, you don’t really know his feelings about it. 

Maybe he’ll have strong feelings about it. Maybe he won’t. Maybe you two will come up with a happy compromise. Either way, to me this is a subject that I feel both partners need to discuss and agree on BEFORE marriage. 

 EDIT: Just wanted to add that I did legally change my name as soon as I could. This was something I had always wanted to do, and my hubby really wanted it as well. I found the whole process to be easy, and had no hiccups either in my professional world at all, and I work in an industry where names/contacts are important as well. 

However, this is my first and likely my only marriage. If I were to ever divorce, I’d likely not even bother to change back to my maiden name for personal reasons, so I’m not sure how much my advice is helpful to your situation. 

Post # 8
460 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2019 - Southampton, UK

I’m in a similar situation. We’re both 50+; I took my maiden name back after my divorce over 25 years ago; this will be his first marriage. The wedding is in 7 months and I still can’t decide! 

Post # 9
11605 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

The logistics are just paperwork and people can and will adjust to whatever name you use. The decision is entirely yours, but I personally wouldn’t make it on that basis. 

You didn’t mention it, but are you concerned your fiancé would feel badly that you changed your name for the ex and not for him? If so, that’s something to discuss. 

There’s no right and wrong here. Do what you want to do. 

Post # 10
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

I didn’t change my name when I got married. I don’t make a fuss if people get it wrong. There has never been any trouble. I really couldn’t bear not having my own name, even though I don’t like it much–but it’s mine.

Post # 11
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Meant to add: A dance last five minutes. Your name last the rest of your life. The situations are not equivalent.

Post # 12
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

First dance vs changing your name are not remotely comparable… in your case I vote for keeping your name legally and going by his socially. There are no real drawbacks to this. 

Post # 13
1441 posts
Bumble bee

I did not change my last name. I go by my maiden name professionally and it would be annoying to have to clarify another name for work (my CV already has my legal first name and the name I go by together as in my culture of origin everyone has 2 versions of their first name). It was important for my husband to have the same name as me. So he changed his. It took a conversation for us to settle on it, but it made sense. If it matters to him that the names are the same, he should be the one to make it happen.

Post # 14
11447 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

You asked what happens to your given middle name if you were to drop it in favor of taking your last name as your new middle name. This is the choice I made. In this case, your given middle name is no longer part of your current legal signature or name in terms of credit cards, bank accounts and the like. However, because it was given to you at birth and would still be on your birth certificate, it continues to travel through life with you in that way.

For example, if you had done this for your first marriage and had gone from being Jane Emily Smith to Jane Smith Jones, and you reverted to your maiden name again after divorce, you could easily choose to become Jane Emily Smith again as a part of that process.

Also, even if someone had often gone by both her first and given middle names (in a case where “Mary Beth” — Mary Elizabeth Jones — changed her name to Mary Jones Smith), she could still be known to family and friends as Mary Beth, even if the Elizabeth were no longer a part of her current legal name or signature.

I married while I was in my mid-to-late 40s and had a long career established in my name. I was extremely attached to it, even though I had always wanted to and planned to take my husband’s last name when I eventually married. I even loved my middle initial so much that I at first planed to try to keep/take both my given middle and my maiden names as middle names after marriage. However, I abandoned this plan for two important reasons. My state’s department of motor vehicles would not allow what would have looked like a non-hyphenated double last name to be on my driver’s license, and two of my friends had gone this route. One told me that she had nothing but problems and said if she could do things over again she would have dropped her given middle name legally.

I personally love this name change because it provides a clear continuation of your identity. People in a professional setting who hear someone suddenly mention “Jane Jones” may have no idea at all that this person is “Jane Smith” from the research and development division (whom they didn’t realize happened to get married last weekend.) But if they suddenly see “Jane Smith Jones” on a email, they’ll likely suspect that maybe the person they know as Jane Smith from the research and development division recently got married. I realize that in your case, with two quick back-to-back name changes, people may have a lot of questions. But I still think it will help.

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