What does Jennifer Lopez have in common with 88% of married women? She legally changed her name when she married actor Ben Affleck in a much-hyped wedding last year. Despite evolving wedding customs, a marriage name change is still the overwhelming norm.
Most couples embrace a marriage name change out of tradition. It’s a legal affirmation of the biblical standard that in marriage, two become one flesh. For the non-religious, it’s a secular sign of unity. On the practical side, some women simply don’t like their given name and prefer their spouse’s name.
When children enter the picture, a common surname simplifies logistics when making arrangements for field trips or trips abroad, since it is easier to prove you are really a child’s mother if your last name is the same.
Who to contact for your marriage name change
There are a number of cons to a marriage name change, the biggest being the time it takes to cover all of the legal bases. Experts in the process say it can take up to 13 hours, since you have to contact a wide array of entities, including:
- Social Security
- The State Department (to update your passport)
- U.S. Postal Service
- State Department of Transportation (to update your driver’s license)
- Department of Motor Vehicles (to update your auto’s title)
- State Voter Registration
- Your employer
- Your insurance agents
- Financial providers (banks, credit cards, mortgage etc.)
And don’t forget about your email address and social media accounts.
As you can see, there’s enough involved to discourage some folks from pursuing a marriage name change. Now if you’re Jennifer Lopez Affleck, you simply have your assistants handle all of this paperwork. But if you’re like most couples, you’re probably groaning at the thought of plowing through 13 hours of paperwork.
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