What Is A Maiden Name?

If you’re just about to get married, then you might have already been looking into the practicalities of the name changing.

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If you are a woman, then you might not want to change your name at all. However, don’t worry, it is not a legal requirement to change your name and a lot of women don’t do it these days.

There have been many historical cases where women have challenged the legal obligation to have their names changed in accordance with the old laws. As a result of some of these cases, it is now not an obligation to change the name of your spouse if you do not wish to.

What Is A Maiden Name

However, this practice is still continued, with some same-sex marriages choosing to take the name of their significant other. There are also other cases around the world in countries such as India where communities practice the taking of the father’s first or proper name.

So how does one go about changing the maiden name? What other options are there for changing your name after marriage?

Can the husband decide to change his name after marriage? How many instances are there where women retain their maiden name? Are there cases where people use both names?

Well, if you are left scratching your head over the confusing practice of name swapping after marriage, then we would suggest that you read on. We have everything that you’ll need for finding out which is the best option for you and what options you have out there.

What Does Maiden Name Is the English-Speaking World?

When a woman changes her name, it is usually done immediately after the ceremony. If she wishes, she signs the marriage certificate with her new name on it immediately after the wedding ceremony.

This is when the common practice of using the women’s married name officially begins.

Once the name is changed, it is usually up to the person changing their name to get all the documents such as driver’s license and other documentation changed. Once this is done, then they will have to change their name by deed poll, so that all future documents will contain their new name.

Sometimes when the maiden name is needed for identification or processing paperwork, then it will be submitted. Sometimes on job interview forms, it will be indicated with the question: ‘Do you have any previous surnames?’

It is much more difficult legally for a man to change his name to the female’s last name. There are some government agencies in the USA that do not recognize this practice, so the process may take longer and be far more time-consuming.

husband and wife smiling

Changing To The Husband’s Name

There are over 90% of college-educated women in the USA that decide to take on their husband’s last name, which is an increase in the statistics of the previous decade.

It is likely that most college graduates will not change their name as opposed to women who didn’t go to college, who are more likely to change their name.

When Do Women Keep Their Maiden Name?

There are many instances these days where women decide not to take their husband’s surname and to retain their maiden name after marriage.

Here are a few of the reasons why they might do that:

  • There simply might not be a reason to change their name, they might not also want to go through the complex legal procedure that it takes to get through this process. They cite the same reasons as the man for not changing their name.
  • Some women take a stance against the male bias in the name-changing ritual, so they do not change their name on principle.
  • There are some women who will be the last in line to retain the family surname, so this will be a reason why they want to preserve it.
  • There are some women who closely associate their name with their identity. For example, if the woman is an author and is known for her surname, then she might not want to change it.
  • If the woman has a previous spouse and wants to retain their last name, then she can keep it for this reason. She might also decide to add the new surname onto the previous surname to make it a double-barrelled surname.
  • Sometimes there can be professional repercussions for changing your name, so they might want to keep their original maiden name to avoid these issues.

These are just some of the reasons why a woman might want to keep her maiden name. However, there are instances where compromises can be made between the husband and the wife.

Using Both Names

There can be a situation where the husband and wife decide to amalgamate their surnames into one double-barreled name and then both adopt that.

This way is often an easy compromise, although it might get difficult when their double-barreled child wants to marry and carry on this tradition. This might result in too many names for the passport!

Blending The Names

This is a newer trend where people blend the surnames, taking the first few letters of one surname and combining it with the last few letters of the other. This can often lead to some interesting combinations and even might lead to whole new surnames arising.

Birth Name As The Middle Name

Another compromise is to shift the maiden so that it becomes the surname. There are a few famous examples of this including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Kim Kardashian West.

In both of these cases, these women have brands built on their name and want to retain that audience that is familiar with their maiden names.

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