Your name is a vital part of your identity. It is the way that you perceive yourself and also how the world knows you.
As such, there is a lot to think about when changing your name after getting married. Here are some tips to make the right choice for you. Use this LegalZoom coupon to save 10% on all legal name change services.
These days the social rules have changed and you can change your name to almost anything. Ask other newly wed women to share their experiences with their name changes. So if you are not sure whether or not to take your husband’s last name read on to discover good name change options.
Choices for Name Changes after Getting Married
Keep your maiden name
This is the easiest choice because you do not have to do anything. This is the name you were given at birth and you will continue to use it after your marriage for all your official uses such as Social Security.
If you have a professional reputation built on your current name it can be wise to not change your name after getting married. Examples of people who should not change their name include writers, artists and business executives which would lose their business reputation by changing names.
This is especially important today when potential employers often search online prior to interviews and if your new name will not display any of your prior portfolio items done under your maiden name.
Take your spouse’s last name legally and keep your maiden name professionally.
This is following a traditional custom in your personal life while also maintaining your career under your given name. It’s very common to have these dual identities for professional women.
Make your last name to your new middle name and take your spouse’s last name
This is a very popular trend. Here you would simply add on to your name your new spouse’s last name. This cuts down on confusion between your professional identity and personal legal last name. Because all your names will be together as one long name.
Changing your middle name in certain states, California, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington – will not be allowed to follow the standard married name change process. Instead you will have to purchase a legal name change and pay additional expenses.
Create a new last name for husband and wife.
Putting the two last names together of husband and wife to create a new family last name using a hyphen – or not, is a common and serviceable solution. Many female entrepreneurs utilize this technique of name change after marriage.
You can even develop a brand-new last name and both husband and wife can use this new legal family name. Your children will inherit the last name that is legally valid at the time of their birth.
Take your husband’s name
This is the traditional route for newlywed women to change their last names to their husbands.
Know that if you choose this option you need to begin by requesting a certified copy of your marriage certificate from your states department of health.
The easiest way to change your name is to use a professional service such as LegalZoom name change services.
If you choose to do it yourself you need to order multiple certified copies from your state office and pay a fee.
Then you will have to get a new Social Security card by filling out forms and nailing to your Social Security office along with certified copies of your marriage certificate and identification documents.
Once you send in all this paperwork properly completed with the associated documents it will take approximately two weeks to get your new so security card.
You also have to get a new drivers life and update your voter registration too. Each state has different rules. Check with your local DMV and State name change rules.
This can be a complicated process and that is why I recommend purchasing a low-cost legal service from LegalZoom.
Also don’t forget to notify your employer.your name change because your income taxes need to be reported on your new name.
These days wives are not the only spouses to consider changing names. Many newlywed husbands have chosen instead to take their wife’s name. In some states the newlywed husband who wants to undergo an illegal main change needs to petition the court and run ads in local papers which can cost up to $500.
Another document you need to update is your passport. This is especially critical if you booked your honeymoon using her maiden name and then will need to show your ID to board the airplane. As such I recommend you wait until you return from your honeymoon to change your passport and driver’s license.