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What are Your Married Name Options? July 4, 2009

Posted by Damon Taylor in Resources.

What are Your Married Name Options?

It’s not always easy for know what your legal options are for your new name after you are married. There can be conflicting information from different companies and not all companies have the same requirements. The supporting documents you will need provide will depend on what you chose for you new name. We’ve summarized the five options you have for your new name after marriage, and what documentation you would typically need as evidence of your new name.

1. Swap your surname with your spouse’s surname

It may comes as a surprise that 85% of women still chose to take their husband’s name with the majority dropping their maiden name altogether. Companies will accept your Australian marriage certificate as evidence of your new name.

2. Take a double barrelled surname

A double barrelled surname is using both your surname and your husband’s surname together. Traditionally the husband’s name would appear last, but you can arrange it in any order or according to what sounds best.

While the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages may ask you to register a double barrelled surname via an official change of name, you will find most companies will be happy to change your documentation over using just your full marriage certificate, including the passport office. They will let you space or hyphenate your new double barrelled surname, and you can then use this documentation to change over subsequent accounts.

3. Use both your maiden name and married name

If you have a reputation within your industry you may decide to retain your maiden name at work while changing over your personal documentation into your new name. This is entirely legal and becoming more common. You would simply use your marriage certificate to change your personal identification and accounts into your new name, and leave any accounts relating to your work unchanged. It is important that your ID is under the one name, so ensure your passport, driver’s license, Medicare and insurance policies are consistent.

4. Take a different name entirely

An emerging trend is the surname mashup, where part of each partners name is combined into a new name. Or you may decide to take a new name altogether. Both scenarios require a legal name change. This process is handled via the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your home state. You may find it easier for the husband to change his name before the wedding, then the bride can assume his new surname after marriage

5. Leave your name as it currently is and take no action.

Once you know what name you will take, the next step is to notify all the companies where you have an account or membership. If you only have a few companies to notify you can call each company and ask their procedure and if they have a name change request form. For the busy bride with 6 or more companies to notify a name change kit may be more suitable.

Name change kits in their basic form are guides with step by step instructions on how to change your name and they usually include a checklist, name change template and some custom forms.

One of the more recent products on the market is a personalised, online name change kit from www.easynamechange.com.au. The site is simple to use; log in and select all the organisations where you have an account or membership, then for $25 your customised name change pack is emailed to you. All you really need to do is sign, add supporting documents where indicated and post.

Other name change kits typically cost $10 and provide you with the instructions and most common government forms so you can manage the process yourself. The basic kits are great for those on a budget or where five companies or less need to be updated.

There is no timeframe where you have to change your name. For the super organised this can take place a few weeks after the honeymoon, but most brides take a few months to transition over to a new name. For the more unorganised you can take comfort in the fact that some brides we know have taken eight years to change their name.

Written by Genevieve Dennis,Founder, Easy Name Change

20% discount for Kiss the Bride members. Simply enter coupon code KTB20 on registration and receive a $24.95 personalised kit for just $19.95

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