For many engaged couples, deciding whether or not to legally change your last name can be an emotionally difficult decision. While it is becoming more popular to keep your last name, many couples still choose to adopt their partner’s last name. Additionally, LGBTQ+ couples have paved the way to open up more choices for couples who neither want to completely change their last name nor fully adopt their partners: many couples hyphenate their last names, swap them, or create an entirely new last name for both partners. To make all these choices a bit less overwhelming for you and your spouse-to-be, here’s what you need to know about changing your last name after marriage.
Couples have many reasons for changing their last name, whether it be because of tradition, a way of showing your love and commitment to your spouse, or even to make filling out paperwork easier. However, forgoing a name change altogether allows you to keep your surname for professional use or maintain your family name, if that’s important to you.
And because there are so many options to combine both you and your partner’s last names, it can be hard figuring out a place to begin. It’s important to sit down with your partner to determine what matters most to both of you. Discuss your professional lives, whether you want to combine bank accounts, and whether children may be in your future. All of these, as well as more nuanced emotional decisions, will impact your decision to change, keep, or combine your last names.
Changing your last name is not only an emotional decision, but it’s also a legal process. Many couples have used NewlyNamed.com as a helpful name-changing resource. NewlyNamed is a female-founded company that grants couples the power to change their last names from the comfort of their own home. NewlyNamed offers couples a variety of kits, each providing instructions that guide you through changing your legal documentation—from your social security number to your driver’s license to your banking information. After you’ve decided the kit that best fits you, you can choose to either order your kit through the mail or use their Print at Home feature, which allows you to download and print all of the paperwork you’ll need to legally change your last name.
Another valuable resource, MissNowMrs, is both a name-changing app and online service that provides a twenty-one-step checklist for a speedy and efficient way to fill out all of your legal paperwork. And don’t let the name fool you! With six different name changing options, MissNowMrs provides services for all couples.
While there are many considerations and options for keeping or changing your last name, the most important thing to remember is to keep an open communication with your partner. What you both mutually decide is what is the best for you, your relationship, and ultimately, your marriage.
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