Pros and Cons of Changing Your Name when You Get Married

Pros and Cons of Changing Your Name when You Get Married

Stephanie Cortes
 | 
Engaged couples understandably focus on their wedding. They often forget the legal issues that come afterwards.

Aside from the many ones you will make, changing your last name is one that you will likely reflect on either before or after you tie the knot. Sometimes, the ramifications of changing or not changing your last name come years after the ceremony. 


According  to TheSpruce.com, around 60-80 percent of brides decide to take on their husband’s last name when they marry,  20 percent maintain their maiden names, and about 5 percent hyphenate. TheKnot.com reported that 49 percent of LGBTQ+ couples chose to take on their partner’s last name.

There are many advantages and disadvantages to sharing last names. This decision is ultimately up to you. Consider below legal name change options and the impacts it may have on your life after marriage.

The process of changing your name varies by state. But it's usually simple. Regardless of the state you live in, you will have to fill out forms and file them with the court clerk's office. There are fees, which vary by state. A judge does review the paperwork. Some states require you to advertise your name change in a newspaper. 

What are my legal name change options? 

There are several options you may reflect on when deciding if changing your last name is the best choice for you.

You can:
  • Maintain your maiden name.
  • Change your maiden name to your middle name and taking on your partner’s last name.
  • Take on each other’s last name as middle names.
  • Change to reflect both names hyphenated.
  • Change last name to a combination of both last names 
  • Create a new last name
  • Change your name to match your partner’s name.
The pros to changing your last name:
  • According to TheSpruce.com, sharing names within your family unit makes it easier to handle matters such as interacting with your children’s schools, making dinner reservations, or making health care decisions on your partner’s behalf. 
  • You don’t like your current one or may want to represent a new identity as a spouse or parent.
  • Sharing last names may provide a sense of family connection and commitment for married couples.
  • If you are the last person in your family with your last name and want to keep it, then you can have best of both worlds by add your partner’s name to yours.
  • People may already expect the traditional name change making it easier to deal with.
The cons to changing your last name:
These points may help you evaluate which decision will work best for your family and lifestyle. Consider speaking with a family law attorney who may answer specific questions to your unique situation and guide you through the name change process.

Of course, you may also want to change your name in the event of divorce. Usually, this is part of the divorce process, and one a lawyer can help you with. 


This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.
 
Stephanie Cortes

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