General Question

ragingloli's avatar

When you get married, is it legally possible to not have either partner change their last name?

Asked by ragingloli (45737points) 1 month ago

Could you also invent a new family name?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

When I married a woman a million years ago, I remember being surprised that the name change was actually not set in stone. The only thing that was necessary was to have it changed on her passport. All she had to do was present the marriage license, and they added a stamp with the new name. There’s nothing in law that says either person has to change his/her last name. It’s also completely acceptable for both to change their names.

I would highly doubt they’d change it to something invented willynilly.

rebbel's avatar

Makes one wonder; wouod there be someone who has changed his or her name to a Willy Nilly.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I think it depends on where you live. Many states in the US, the wife is NOT legally required to change her name to her husband’s…it is just assumed that she will. However, IF both spouses want to completely change their last name, they must put in a request through the court system asking for permission to legally change their names…then there is also a fee for court costs. I took my first husband’s last name & when we divorced I requested getting my maiden name back & the judge approved it at NO additional charge. It was part of the divorce decree. Had I waited until after the divorce to apply to get my name back, it would have been a separate request & I would have to file for a legal name change which cost $350 at the time.

Patty_Melt's avatar

There have been couples who made a new last name from a hyphen version of both names together.
I changed my name when I got married, but when I divorced I wanted to keep the married name. It turns out that actually requires a fee.

raum's avatar

My sister didn’t change her name. And neither did her husband.

My TA in college made up a name together with her fiancé. Apparently both of them wanted to distance themselves from their families and surnames.

janbb's avatar

Not required to change a name and yes you can make up a new last name.

Pinguidchance's avatar

Call me old-fashioned, I like the ring that Mr and Mrs Ragingloli has to it.

But it’s each individual’s decision whether or not they want to chance their name, at any time.

Aren’t we getting a bit ahead of ourselves?

Zaku's avatar

Yes, in the parts of the USA I’ve asked, it’s allowed for both people getting married to completely change their names (first, last, middle, whatever) to whatever they want.

That’s generally an option anyway for a fee. You just get no-charge name changes included with a marriage license.

cookieman's avatar

Yes and yes here in Massachusetts at least (probably all of the US).

My wife and I kept our own names as is and inquired about making up a whole new name. We decided not to, but legally could have.

I feel the taking of someone else’s name is so archaic and speaks to a time when women were treated as property in the marriage transaction.

Meanwhile, my millennial daughter thinks it’s a nice tradition.

WTF do I know?!

raum's avatar

It’s different when it’s seen as a choice. And not when it’s a tradition that’s expected of you.

olgamolga's avatar

Changing your name or vice versa is done in a ritual manner. You must physically go and change your name yourself. It does not change the moment you exchange vows and say I do.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

You just send a copy of your marriage certificate to the various agencies. It’s a hassle. I’ve done it twice. I finally said FI so some of the bills are still in my old name.

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