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Taking DH's surname after 8 years of marriage

(233 Posts)
5by5 Thu 27-Aug-15 16:12:02

I have been mulling over changing my name recently. I didn't change my name when I married for feminist reasons and for weirdness reasons - I found/find the idea of changing your name strange, it must be an odd process to go through.

However, there are a few reasons why I'm thinking of doing it now...

1) I am now NC with my parents and sometimes I don't like this tie I still have to them. I feel much more like DH's family are my family now.

2) We are moving overseas, a fresh start, seems like a good time to do it if I was to do it.

3) My name needs spelling out or people don't get it right. This is trivial.

4) DCs have DH's surname, though my name as a middle name. The more I refer to friends and family groups as 'the So-and-Sos' the more I'd like us to be 'the DHsurnames'. This is also trivial.

Reasons against would be:

1) Moving overseas will be a testing time for our relationship. I fully believe we are strong enough for it to be a great adventure for all of us, but I'd be a fool if I didn't consider the idea that it might all go wrong, and while changing my name back would be a minor point in what I'd be dealing with if it did, it seems like it would be salt in the wound.

2) Still feminist reasons.

What do you think? I haven't mentioned this to DH at all.

CathJames Thu 27-Aug-15 16:24:17

Your Dc have your Dh's surname yet you decided not to take the very same name when you made the commitment to marry him?.....I personally find that rather strange!

Mrsjayy Thu 27-Aug-15 16:31:00

Its fine to change your mind honestly just change it for all the reasons you stated see it as the family name rather than taking your dh name iyswim. This is a daft question but im going to ask anyway on ypur marraige certificate is it your surname rather than mrs husband ?

5by5 Thu 27-Aug-15 16:31:16

I don't mind not having the same surname as my dc, beyond the simplicity being known collectively as 'the DHsurnames' <shrug> They had to have one of our names, we couldn't have double-barrelled, there is no perfect solution to that issue. I felt strongly about the issue of women losing their identity on marriage. I still feel strongly, but there are these other ideas slipping in.

5by5 Thu 27-Aug-15 16:31:58

Err, hang on, I'll have to go and check!

Mrsjayy Thu 27-Aug-15 16:32:31

You can still be a feminist and be mrshusband smile

ImperialBlether Thu 27-Aug-15 16:35:16

When I married I thought I would have to sign something official to change my name (I didn't want to change it.) The registrar told me that nobody actually does that - it's just custom and practice that women change their names.

This means you can actually use that name without a problem.

What I did was I kept my own name at work and used my married name at home and for anything to do with the children.

5by5 Thu 27-Aug-15 16:36:23

I know, I've never thought otherwise, but it was never something I thought I'd do.

On my marriage certificate it just says that DH and I got married, it doesn't state what name I have after the event.

NotSoDesperateHousewife Thu 27-Aug-15 16:36:26

Honestly? Just change it, it's actually much easier than you'd think and much less hmm reaction. It's nice to be "family name" family.

If you don't like it it's not hard to just change it back again! Or you can come up with something completely new, I quite like the idea of just having a whole new name you decided you liked more than what you were lumped with without choice at birth.

ChunkyPickle Thu 27-Aug-15 16:38:05

It's entirely up to you - I can see why you're mulling it over - I think that if you're NC with your parents that's a particularly good reason (although if your children still have your name as their middle name, perhaps not so much).

If you're going to a religious country then perhaps it will be smoother, if you're going to a bureaucracy-heavy country then it might be easier. I'm considering marrying DP (lucky him :P) if we decide to follow through on the move to a very catholic country (I wouldn't change my name though - DS2 has my surname, and I like my name, and am known by it professionally) for convenience (and clarity/security if either of us should have any medical issues/whatever).

Mrsjayy Thu 27-Aug-15 16:38:12

Oh is that how it works honestly didn't know. Dd is getting married and wants to keep her name for work i think

Mrsjayy Thu 27-Aug-15 16:40:34

See i just signed jay husband i thought that was what you were meant to do <dim>

Jenijena Thu 27-Aug-15 16:42:48

Depending on which country you'reoving to, but not all countries see women adopting husband's surnames.

I see your reasons, but would still find it hard to give up the feminist reasoning...

5by5 Thu 27-Aug-15 16:44:56

It's a pretty conservative country, though not religious. It's also very 'global' iyswim, so I'm sure there's a big mix of ways that people do things.

thatstoast Thu 27-Aug-15 16:46:50

Are you sure mrsjayy? I thought you had to sign with your name. The registrar told me this when I got married. I went double barrelled afterwards. I wish I'd kept my name as I'm finding the two names a massive administration faff. Don't want to change back as it would be another massive administration faff.

ChunkyPickle Thu 27-Aug-15 17:06:29

Oh, well, if it's a place like (casts mind around places I've lived which sound similar)... Singapore, then really, don't bother unless your name is worrying you.

In fact, on the con side of changing your name, it can be a pain in the bum if you forget some piece of paperwork in the old country, but now everything's in a different name, and no-one will let you change the old stuff because you're somewhere else, and the new place won't accept the old paperwork because it's in the old name, and you find yourself hunting through boxes of stuff looking for anything with the old name (in my case address) on it so you can dig yourself out of the paperwork hole you've managed to get yourself in....

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 27-Aug-15 17:15:18

I do get where you're coming from OP, I didn't change my name (Sorry Cath, I didn't know giving up my identity was part of the whole commitment thang) but it is a little irksome to have a different name from my DS. I wish we'd both picked one and gone for that, and that's the advice I give anyone getting married now.

(We would have had a weird double-barrel, and I always wonder where it stops with double barrels if DCs want to get married and keep their own names...)

ALassUnparalleled Thu 27-Aug-15 17:19:47

* I thought you had to sign with your name.*

Yes "your name" there is nothing in UK law which magically changes "your name" when you get married.

Not all countries do name changes as routine and there is nothing in UK law which requires a name change.

ALassUnparalleled Thu 27-Aug-15 17:21:44

I see your point re belonging to a family, although it's the other way round for me. I don't think of any of my husband's family as my family and don't want to be, nor am I, a part of their family.

Daffydil Thu 27-Aug-15 17:21:51

If it's Switzerland you may have problems if you haven't changed your name!

5by5 Thu 27-Aug-15 17:22:52

ChunkyPickle smile As I wrote that description I thought, this is really obvious, I should just say where it is rather than be cryptic.

The paperwork side of it all does put me off. Sounds like you ended up in some kind of Brazil-like bureaucratic nightmare.

Mrsjayy Thu 27-Aug-15 17:29:31

Oh really i thought i signed his name tbh ive been married that long im sure its written on parchment grin

G1veMeStrength Thu 27-Aug-15 17:31:01

The feminist thing: when I got married I changed my name from 'my dad's surname' to 'my husband's dad's surname' so didn't really see it as having any feminist point either way. (Although I suppose I changed something and DH didn't.)

The surnames I like best in my life are my grandmother's... which they got from their fathers. And I have never been known as anyway but they are v much part of my identity.

So I don't know. Just pick whichever name sounds nicest. That's what I did.

ChunkyPickle Thu 27-Aug-15 18:03:43

Yes, but then I've moved around a lot, and things like getting criminal records checks when you've moved country almost every year (become a computer programmer, see the world!) get... challenging....

I'm sure for most people it's a bit more straightforward smile and actually, Singapore is definitely one of the best places for this - all procedures are clear, generally on the internet (or solved by waiting in a couple of queues at MoM) - I wish all tax returns were as straight forward as they are there (not much more than 'how much did you earn? Give us 15%') - I turned up on the last day it was due, without a SingPass (id-card-like thing), with queues around the building, and I was in and out with a Singpass and tax return filed via one of their many provided computers, in under an hour! So efficient - I'd move back in a second.

Names there really don't matter - half the ethnic Chinese I worked with had both Chinese and English names, and I can't think any of the married women I knew who'd changed their names unless they were Westerners.

5by5 Thu 27-Aug-15 18:21:45

But, G1veMeStrength - it wasn't just your dad's name, it was your name for at least 20-odd years, I would guess? I've never really followed that argument.

Thanks Chunky, interesting to get an insider perspective on how it works out there. I had imagined with the mix of cultures that people wouldn't blink either way, it's just the new start aspect of it I think. I'd feel a bit weird going round explaining it to everyone I know here, just out of the blue.

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