Do I have to change my name after marriage?
Even though we are 2019 I still get this question constantly. For some reason people, especially women, are under the impression that they MUST change their name after marriage. Yes, this has been the custom for a really long time but it is not legally required.
Is there a time limit in which to change my name?
There is no time limit. Some wait years before they actually get around to changing their name. What you do want to do is be sure that if you start using your new name you will want to make sure that you get the important stuff changed first, insurance, passports, driver’s licenses, bank accounts, etc.
What do I need to change my name on?
Well basically everything you use your current name on:
- Insurance policies
- Utility bills
- Social Security
- Credit cards
- Phone bills
- Student loans
- Driver’s license
- Work payroll and retirement plans
- Voter registration
- State tax agencies
- Doctor’s office
- Professional licensing boards or associations
- Magazine subscriptions
- Library cards
- Membership cards
What happens if my name is different from my children’s name?
While you do not have to legally have the same name of your child; this reason alone is why some change their name. They want to have the same last name as their kids. Some decide to hyphenate so they can have the best of both worlds. People always want to know what the consequences are when the last name does not match. The biggest issues seem arise around school and leaving the country. Many parents seem to navigate this with some ease. It will mean a few extra conversations and having to have extra documentation for foreign travel but otherwise it is doable. Be sure to contact your child’s school to find out what they may need and if traveling make sure to research and contact airlines and boarder agencies for you may need.
Do I need to go to court to change my name?
Most states do not require you to go to court to change your name after marriage. You should check your state’s requirements. Washington allows you to change your name with your Marriage Certificate so you won’t need to use the courts.