I recently made a post on my Instagram page asking followers whether or not they would take their husband’s name upon marriage? This is an interesting concept for gays, who may likely choose to keep their own names after a marriage. So where do gays fit in when it comes to the classic notion of being a wife and accepting your husband’s name? Responses fell all over the map…some said they would hyphenate the names, some who did not like their own name would take their husband’s name, and some said “it depends if it’s a cute last name.” I probably would keep my own name unless, like my favorite followers indicated, my man had a very cute name.
Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, it is good to know your options. One of the easiest ways to change your name is after a marriage. On your marriage certificate, you can elect to either leave your name unchanged, accept your partner’s name, or hyphenate both names. Once you have chosen your name and have an original (or certified) marriage certificate in hand, you need to update your name with the Social Security office by filling out their application. With your new name on your new Social Security card, take all of your documents (marriage certificate, Social Security card, old ID) to the DMV to get a new license.
If you do not want to go through the trouble, there are services that can do all of this for you at a cost. Once you have a new Social Security card and driver’s license, you will want to update your bank accounts, employer, credit card companies, insurance companies, etc. Each of these institutions may have their own policies for how to prove your name change (generally, providing your new ID or Social Security card may suffice).
What if you already changed your name, got a divorce, and want to change it back? This will generally require you to get some type of approval from the judge who finalized your divorce. Your divorce decree may already include a provision that grants your name restoration. If not, you may need to file an application with the court. Once you have the divorce decree (or court approval) in hand, you would go to the Social Security office and follow the same steps above.
It can be a lot of trouble, but I know that many of my readers plan on being wifed up to the fullest – including that name change. Hopefully this post will help you in that process!
Questions, comments, concerns, think you may need an attorney?