5 Advantages of Changing Name After Marriage and How to Do It
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For years, people have debated the topic of women changing name after marriage and been divided in opinions. Even though more than 50% of adults in the US believe that taking husband’s last name after marriage is ideal, some think otherwise in the past years.
Recently, there has been a change in this trend. 6% of married women have decided to have a surname change after marriage, and this number increases.
There are many different reasons why changing name after marriage is preferred. If you’re asking yourself, “can I keep my maiden name after marriage?” continue reading to better understand the pros of changing last name after marriage and the cons of not changing it.
Why changing your surname after marriage can be important?
It’s known that society expects changing surnames after marriage. A woman can avoid problems with keeping a maiden name, such as questions asked by relatives and people she knows. Put simply, this is a deep-rooted custom.
Having the same last name as the husband is important since it can be less stressful when processing important documents such as joint accounts, visas, properties, and passports, among others. Changing name after marriage can also help in starting a new life. It can be easier to leave the past behind.
Another importance of changing your name after marriage is that your children will be better known when you all share the same surname. It can lessen the possibility of your child experiencing an identity crisis.
Some women don’t consider keeping last names after marriage because a sense of belongingness is a priority for them as they embark on a new life journey.
5 advantages of changing surname after marriage
You might be wondering, what are the benefits of changing your name after marriage? Here are 5 pros of changing your surname after you get married.
1. Having a new name can be fun
You’ll get a new name when you use your husband’s last name after your wedding. For instance, you’ll introduce yourself differently or have a new signature.
Change can be scary and good at the same time. Changing name after marriage can symbolize the start of your new journey and your new role as a wife and possibly, a mother. But this doesn’t mean you’ll have less individuality.
Related Reading: 500+ Nicknames For Husband
2. If you ever wanted to change your maiden name, this is the chance
If you have a maiden name that’s hard to spell or pronounce, changing name after marriage can benefit you. Taking your partner’s last name can also help in distancing yourself if your maiden name is connected to your family’s negative reputation.
3. Having a shared last name can make bonds stronger
When you decide to start a family, your future family can have a better identity if you have one family name. Changing name after marriage will also make it easier to decide what your children’s last names will be.
Related Reading: 20 Things a Couple Can Do to Strengthen a Marriage
4. You won’t have to explain your surname in relation to your husband or family
Since this can be the case, changing name after marriage is simpler for you. It’s inevitable for people to expect that you’ll take your husband’s last name after marriage.
A study about gender issues reported that more than 50% of Americans believe that women should use their husband’s surnames. You can also save time correcting people and explaining your choice of not changing your name after marriage.
5. Having items personalized will be easier
If you’re into customized items, a shared last name is recommended. If you dream of having a cutting board with your new surname, it’s a better decision to let go of your maiden name.
5 disadvantages of not changing surname after marriage
Now, you’re likely thinking of the disadvantages of keeping maiden name. If you still haven’t decided whether to change your surname or not after marriage, knowing the disadvantages of not changing your surname after marriage can help you make a better decision.
1. People will likely get your name wrong
As mentioned, most people expect married women to take their husband’s surnames. Whether you decide to change your name or not, people will assume that you’re using your husband’s last name.
But, this doesn’t mean that changing name after marriage should be done for convenience. It can get a little complicated when married couples have different surnames.
The process of changing a name after marriage can indeed be complex, but you might find it easier if you have the same last name as your husband.
2. There can be a conflict when you have children
Conflict over children’s future is one of the problems with keeping maiden name. You have to prepare yourself for possible conflicts about the surname your children will have if you decide to keep your family name after marriage.
Though there are pros and cons of hyphenating last name, issues are inevitable. Children’s names are also permanent except when they get married or decide to change their names on their own. So, if someone’s feelings get hurt, it can last for a long time.
It’s better to talk to your partner in advance about this since it won’t only affect you but also your future children.
3. It can be challenging to keep identifying with your previous name
Although getting married is all about you and your husband, his family can likely say something if you decide not to change your surname after marriage, especially if you have a great relationship with them. Changing name after marriage will give you a better connection with your family.
Having a new surname can represent a new life chapter, making you part of something bigger than just you and your husband. It can be challenging to have a fresh start if you continue using your maiden name after marriage.
4. There can be lesser excitement during family occasions
Your guests will feel excited when you announce that you’re legally bonded during the reception. Though some look forward to your first kiss at the altar at the start of the marriage, some feel that the marriage is more real during the announcement at the reception.
Keeping last name after marriage might evoke unwanted response and feelings in such situations.
5. You can miss out on the special feeling of having the same last name as your partner
It’s undeniable that there’s something special when you have the same surname as the love of your life. Though it doesn’t lessen your love for each other if you have different last names, names have power, such as giving identity and holding emotions. You might not experience the special bond a shared name gives.
10 steps to change Your Name After Marriage
There are steps you need to know if you decide to change your last name after marriage. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what you need to do:
1. Look for the documents you need to update
The process of changing name after marriage starts with basic documentations. The first thing you need to do is check what accounts and documents you need to update your name on. It’s recommended to make a list and cross out the items that you’ve updated.
Having a list will prevent you from missing out on updating crucial accounts and documents.
Related Reading: 6 Legal Steps to Prepare for Your Wedding
2. Prepare all your requirements
The next step in the process of changing names after marriage is to prepare all the requirements and put them in a folder. Some of these can include IDs, social security cards, birth and marriage certificates, or other proof that show your name, birthday, and citizenship, among many others.
These are important so that you won’t experience delays.
3. Get the true copy of your marriage license
Your marriage license is crucial in completing this process. That’s because you won’t be able to have your name changed if you can’t show this document. You can request true copies from your local government or court office if you don’t have this yet or want additional copies.
4. Obtain documents to show that you’re married
There can be other supporting documents that you can show to prove that you’re indeed married. For example, you can show when your wedding was held by bringing your wedding announcement or a newspaper clipping with your nuptials.
Though not required all the time, having these on hand will help in changing names after marriage.
5. Get a new social security with your name on it
You need to apply for a new social security card when you decide to change your name after marriage. You might need to get the form online and fill it out. Then, you bring this to your local security office so that you can get a card with your new name.
After getting this card, you can update your other documents or accounts.
Related Reading: Emotional Closeness and Security in a Family
6. Get a new ID or driver’s license
Because you have your new social security card, you can get a new ID or driver’s license. When trying to update your ID, you must have all pertinent documents with you. That’s because they might ask you for other information.
Aside from your updated social security card, it’s best to bring your birth certificate, marriage license, and other documents that can help prove your identity. You’ll have an easier time updating other documents if you have an updated valid ID.
7. Request to have your name updated in your bank
You have to visit your bank branch so that you can have your records and documents updated. You won’t have a hard time doing this if you have your official documents and updated IDs.
You just need to consult with a banker and tell them that you want to update your name. You don’t need to worry because they will guide you in completing this process.
8. Ask to have your other accounts updated
Another step that you want to do is to search for how you can update your name on your other accounts. Depending on the accounts you have, you’ll have to go through different processes.
There are cases where you can simply do it online, or you’ll be required to go to their office and submit the needed documents.
9. Make changes to your work information
You need to inform your company if you have your name changed. That’s because they also need to update your records. Because your company knows you got married, updating your work details will avoid confusion in your work documents.
You might be asked to submit photocopies of your IDs or documents with your new name on them.
10. Update your name on your social media accounts
The final step is changing your name on your social media accounts. Depending on the platform you’re using, it can be as simple as going to settings, updating your name, and saving it.
There can also be some platforms that require you to upload an ID with your new name before you can update your profile.
Related Reading: 10 Tips to Reduce Effects of Social Media on Marriage
To get more information about changing your name post marriage, watch this video:
Some more relevant questions!
You might still have questions about changing your surname after marriage. Check the related questions with answers below to help you better understand changing name after marriage.
Is name change mandatory after marriage?
Changing name after marriage isn’t mandatory. It’s not the duty of a married woman to use her husband’s last name. They have the option to continue using their maiden name, use their maiden name and husband’s name, or their husband’s name only.
Does it cost money to change your surname after marriage?
The process of changing names is simple. But, you’ll need to pay between $15 to more than $500 for a marriage license depending on where you live. A marriage license will show the name you prefer.
Consider and take your decision!
Finally, you have a better understanding of changing name after marriage, its advantages, and the disadvantages of not changing your surname. Keep in mind that you don’t have to force yourself to do it.
The decision to change or keep your name all depends on you. The pros and cons given can help you in choosing what’s better for you.
Though there can be downsides to whatever you choose and possible fights occurring, you can always discuss with your partner or even go to pre marriage counseling to fix any rift between the two of you. If you work together, this issue can be minor and won’t cause you much inconvenience. Since your family will likely support and respect whatever your decision is, you shouldn’t stress yourself out too much.
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