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Did you, have you, would you change your surname?

(119 Posts)
trisher Thu 02-Jul-20 08:48:39

Most women my age changed their name when they married and so did I. When I got divorced I could have reclaimed my maiden name, but I didn't bother, although I do have a couple of friends who use it. I simply thought it would be best to have the same name as my DCs.
But these days a lot of women keep their name when they marry. So I wondered would you change if you were getting married today and if you were ever to divorce would you return to your single name?

Lucca Thu 02-Jul-20 08:51:52

I am divorced but kept my married name. Saw no reason to change, lots of admin hassle plus I liked it better than my single/maiden name.
Just struck me what an outdated expression “maiden name”. Is it still in use ?

BlueSky Thu 02-Jul-20 08:59:31

But you never lose your single surname, you just use your husband's for practical reasons! Yes when I divorced I went back to using my own name, now I remarried I'm Mrs X but my real surname remains Sky! Actually we were thinking about using double surnames, my DH's idea, if I wanted the bother.

trisher Thu 02-Jul-20 09:00:20

Lucca I struggled with that and thought of using "birth name' then thought I might just be being a bit right-on. It's a bit of a problem isn't it. I liked my married name better as well, but someone did tell me recently that I had no right to it. Which I thought was a bit much.

harrigran Thu 02-Jul-20 09:06:33

I took my DH's name but my hospital and SRN badges plus my gold medal are all inscribed with my maiden name, shame really but I qualified just months before I married.

BlueSky Thu 02-Jul-20 09:08:44

When you think about it it's such an old fashioned concept. You become your husband's property to the extent of losing your identity!

Galaxy Thu 02-Jul-20 09:14:02

I kept my name. So me and dh have different names. We seem to have survived.

Lucca Thu 02-Jul-20 09:19:05

after marriage, Italian women continue to keep their maiden surname for passports and identity documents, work etc

Lucca Thu 02-Jul-20 09:19:52


Lucca I struggled with that and thought of using "birth name' then thought I might just be being a bit right-on. It's a bit of a problem isn't it. I liked my married name better as well, but someone did tell me recently that I had no right to it. Which I thought was a bit much.

Agree it’s a bit much! None if their business anyway

Iam64 Thu 02-Jul-20 09:20:14

I married far too young, took his name and regretted the name change within days. Regretting the marriage took rather longer. I reverted to my birth name as soon as I left. I considered taking my mother's maiden name but decided I'd return to the name I'd had for most of my life. I re-married 16 years later, kept my own name. Almost all my close friends kept their birth name when they married. Our children have a collection of family names and all seem to have survived happily.

CassieJ Thu 02-Jul-20 09:21:01

I am divorced and reverted back to my maiden name.

GagaJo Thu 02-Jul-20 09:27:19

I didn't ever change my name. Same last name all my life. Ex husband wasn't happy but meh. My life. My choice.

Franbern Thu 02-Jul-20 09:34:53

When I was seven years old my father changed our family surname. He had been the second generation immigrant family and his name was German, and my mother could not continue to live with this after WW2. Both he, and his older brother changed this at the same time to the same new surname.

So, when I married I then took my third surname. I still have to keep a copy of that deed poll back from the 1940's, to produce for anything official, along with my birth certificate.

I would have loved to have kept my single name when I married, I had built up a good reputation in that name in my field. Back in the early 1960's that was almost unheard of and would have caused so many problems. By the time we divorced nearly fifty years later, there was no way I was going to change my name again, so I still keep his name and the designation of Mrs - although we have lived apart for nearly twenty years now.

One of my daughters did keep her single name for work purposes, as again it was a good one in her job area - indeed, she got her first full-time job almost entirely on the fact of that name and that she was my daughter.

My eldest g.daughter has her fathers surname, although he and her mum never married, and her Mum keeps her single name. This has worked out very well - and both her first names come from my daughters side of the family - with her middle name being that of my Mum. No difficulty has ever happened with her having a different name to her Mum.

I do not like the modern practice of using both surnames with a hyphen. Bad enough just two names (eg: Smith-Jones), but do wonder what is going to happen if this continues in the future and how long will those names be.

Perhaps we should revert to a much older method and giving the boy the surname of Sonof.......fathers first name, and daughter, daughterof.......Mums first name. easier in some other languages where these are just three letter words (Eg: Bar (son) and (Bat) Daughter) /

RomyP Thu 02-Jul-20 09:40:55

I tried using my husband's surname for some years, couldn't get used to it. Once our children were old enough to appreciate my first name and their surname didn't sound good together I reverted to my maiden name, have been using that for over 20 years now, my passport and everything official is in my maiden name and that's how I like it. It's only custom that says change to your husband's surname, there's no law that makes us do it. I wish he'd changed to mine but as last son of last son he didn't feel it right to do so. My own son told his wife she didn't need to change surname but she chose to, my daughter was delighted to change hers 😂

Septimia Thu 02-Jul-20 09:41:37

Because of convention I took my DH's surname and didn't really mind as it confirmed our 'coupleness' to people. I kept my maiden name as one of my Christian names and sometimes use both together professionally.

If I was getting married now I'd be more likely to keep my maiden name - it's not so unusual to do so these days.

Witzend Thu 02-Jul-20 09:49:16

I think I’d still have taken dh’s surname, because I preferred it to mine.

I did often wonder why someone I used to encounter at work, had kept her own nice, inoffensive surname, while her children had evidently taken her dh’s - a name that to me was about the last I’d want children to be saddled with - almost guaranteed to cause embarrassment and/or bullying later.

Grandma70s Thu 02-Jul-20 10:00:50

I married in 1968, and even then thought the practice of taking my husband’s name was ridiculous. Nevertheless I did it, partly out of laziness, plus his name was much easier to spell than mine and I had grown tired of always having to spell my name. Although I was widowed young, I have kept his name and I really regret it now. It is so boring compared with mine! My children have my husband’s name.

My DIL kept her own name, I’m glad to say, but the children have my son’s name, which is a bit silly really. They know a couple who didn’t like either name, so took a new one. That seems a good idea to me.

I was very surprised that when my nephew married, in his early thirties, his wife took his name. I wouldn’t have expected it in their generation.

BlueSky Thu 02-Jul-20 10:20:09

When you think about it children should have always been given the mother's surname as there is no doubt who the mother is. I think this happens or has happened in other cultures. Of course to us it meant the mother was unmarried.

Grandmabatty Thu 02-Jul-20 10:31:21

I reverted to my maiden name after a nasty divorce. My children kept their father's name. It hasn't caused any of us any difficulties as far as I know.

henetha Thu 02-Jul-20 10:41:24

I kept my married name after divorce because I wanted to have the same surname as my sons and grandchildren.
My divorce was amicable though, so maybe I would have felt differently if it wasn't.

Tangerine Thu 02-Jul-20 10:45:44

I changed my name when I married and didn't think much about it. When my husband died, it didn't occur to me to change it back to my birth name.

If I married again, I think I might change my name if I preferred the new surname. My surname/last name isn't something that interests me much.

jusnoneed Thu 02-Jul-20 10:46:47

I used my married name after divorce while my son was young and then reverted to maiden name later.
My second son has his dad's surname (my partner) so of course for many it was presumed mine was the same and I was often called Mrs * and on occasion had to explain that I wasn't.

Alima Thu 02-Jul-20 10:56:22

I wouldn’t have taken my husband’s name or become double -barrelled if that had been a common option 44 years ago,

Juno56 Thu 02-Jul-20 13:17:55

I took my husband's name when we married which I was and am fine with; it is a more distinctive name than my own. When my DD married she kept her own surname as is the norm with young couples. My DGD has her father's surname and her mother's surname is one of her middle names.

Oopsminty Thu 02-Jul-20 13:23:43

I've been married twice. Once to a Spaniard about 200 years ago and now to a Brit.

I had a boring maiden name. Do we still say 'maiden name'?

My married name now is equally boring

The only exciting one I had was my Spanish husband's surname

However, in reality the Spanish don't take their husband's surnames

I just decided to buck that trend

I am now back to boring

But I shall survive