In the United States, nearly 70% of women still elect to take their husbands last name after marriage, according to BBC. “It is quite surprising that so many women adopt their man’s name, since it comes from patriarchal history, from the idea that a woman , on marriage, became a mans procession”, says Simon Duncan.
However in recent years, there are just over 30% of women have chosen to either keep their maiden name or create a personalized name; whether it be to break tradition, keep their own identity or avoid the hassle of the name change process; I am all here for it.
There is no wrong approach, as really, it is whatever makes you and your Homelife happy. None the less, here are a few options that are taking the lead in post marriage surnames.
Take Your Spouse’s Last Name
Definitely, by no means am I trying to strike down the idea of taking your partner’s last name. If you and your new spouse find the tradition significant, then you do you! And here is a twist, idea for thought, in some cultures, the husband takes the woman’s maiden name.
Keep Your Maiden Name
If you love your name or simply want to keep your own identity, you can always choose to keep your maiden name. It surely doesn’t make you any less committed to your marriage, despite what comments others may give.
Hyphenate Your Last Names
I personally tritely love this idea and as I see it, you are getting the best of both worlds. Also, in recent years has become an option growing significantly in popularity. This way, no one has to give up their surname and both parties can go through the process of changing names together. **If both, my husband’s and my maiden names weren’t already so long, I would definitely had selected to go this route. (Does require a legal name change for both partners).
Shifting Maiden Names
Seems to as well be growing in popularity, according to a 2015 New York Times article. In this option, both spouses take the wife’s maiden name as their new middle name and the husband’s surname and their last name. (Does require a legal name change for both partners).
Use Your Maiden Name Professionally and Another Legally
For many of us, especially legally married later in life, this may be an attractive option. If you have already established yourself professionally with your maiden name, you are most likely less inclined to change your last name after getting married. None the less, rest assured that you can elect to legally change your last name which you use personally and socially, however refer to your maiden name on all professional levels.
Create A New Name
Less common, but still a viable and creative option. (I personally know a few people who have elected to go this route). This is a method of combining both last names, in one way or another, to create a completely new surname. (Does require a legal name change for both partners).
Ultimately the decision is yours and whatever option you and your new spouse choose, you shouldn’t feel pressured by family, tradition or society in making your choice. Changing your last name is a choice and you should do whatever feels the best for you and your new spouse.
If you do elect to go with an option where you and/ or the two of you need to undergo the process of legally changing your last name, let me be the one to remind you that the process is tedious. Worth it, if it is something you have decided to do, however there are so many moving parts and there to ease the process is NewlyNamed.
Newly Named is an online service which makes changing your last name after getting married easy. Their personalized kits save you time, provide a peace of mind and an outline of all the companies/ places where you need to file your name change with….because you need to change your name on more than simply your license and social security card.
It is easy! Simply visit NewlyNamed, purchase a kit and complete thier informational form. By completing the form with all of your information, they will mail you a kit, pre-filled with all of the state and federal forms that need to file filed, along with step by step instructions. Rest easy, you can be comforted in knowing that you’ve done everything correctly.
- Social Security
- U.S. Passport
- Driver’s License / ID
- Vehicle registration & Title
- Professional Licenses
- Bank & Credit Cards
- Loyalty Programs
- And so much more……..
So, what are you waiting for, check out Newly Named.