Woman talking to her lawyer about her last name after marriage

Do I Have to Change My Name After Marriage?

Many people think that a woman must legally change her last name to her husband’s last name. This may be the norm, but this is not true. Women have a choice when it comes to changing their names, especially after marriage. Before legally becoming Mrs. Simpson, learn about your options below.

Keep your given name

By far the easiest of all choices is to do nothing at all. Many women choose to keep their birth name because of convenience (no need to accomplish paperwork) and professional reasons. If you have built a name for yourself professionally, keeping your given name is better for your branding, resume, and portfolio.

Take your spouse’s last name

Of course, you can have your husband’s name if you want to. Taking your spouse’s last name is the most traditional among other choices. To accomplish this, you need to secure a certified copy of your marriage certificate and update the following: driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, and US Postal card. You should also notify your employer, banks, and insurers.

Take your spouse’s last name legally, but keep your given name professionally

This is the best of both worlds if you ask me. You can mix tradition and profession by legally using your spouse’s last name and using your birth name for business purposes. Having dual names, however, may be confusing so make sure to reiterate the change.

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Create a new last name

If you can’t reach a compromise with your husband, why not legally create a new last name instead? You can find a surname you both like or just blend your names if it sounds good. According to a family law attorney from Colorado Springs, many couples do this to reach a unified decision and start anew. The procedure, however, is longer and more complicated compared to just taking your spouse’s last name.

The decision is always yours when it comes to changing names after marriage. Talk to your spouse about it and make sure that both of you reach a satisfying compromise.