Seeing discussion of women changing their names again. (Sigh.) But there is something is often NOT said about this, that I think should be:
Practically speaking, it takes time and money to change your name.
Social security office, driver’s license & car title – those are often the main things people think of. If you go in person you can probably use the same certified copy of the marriage document for it.
…and the bank, again with a certified copy of the marriage certificate. OK.
…and updating things at work. OK.
…and call your utilities, landlord, credit cards….
…got a passport? Again, certified copy, and if you mail it off, you’ll want one just to mail off.
…. if you own your home? Well, changing the name on the deed of one’s home can require filing a conveyance document/deed – you essentially “sell” the house to yourself. Right. Do you want to trust you’ll get that right without a lawyer?
I didn’t keep my birth name out of my “commitment to feminism”. I got married in my 30s. I was looking at spending days trotting my marriage certificate over to the social security office, dept of licensing (driver’s license and car title), bank, credit union, 2 brokerages with local offices, and getting forms notarized and more certified copies of the marriage certificate to mail to 2 other brokerages, and then hire a lawyer to help me sell my condo to myself? Oh HELL no.
Name changes are complicated enough that there are services to help you do this.
On the other hand, a friend who hated her last name* was thrilled to have an excuse to dump it. (She didn’t own a home, but did have a passport.) So, it depends on your motivation.
Also: society is fine with women who want to change their names on marriage, but not men. Why?
*Imagine if your last name was pronounced “mean”.
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