Name Game

What’s in a Surname?
Some couples make a new last name to go with their new lives together

Though most brides still take the groom’s last name, according to The New York Times’ blog The Upshot, roughly 20 percent of women married in recent years have kept their own last names. There’s also hyphenating, which is egalitarian but could get a bit clunky. Some couples choose a more inventive option, though: creating an entirely new last name that both partners take. “I am so grateful that women are presented with so many options now,” writes Sarah Greesonbach on website The Everygirl. “I could have been Mrs. Greeson… I could have been a Marbach-Greeson, but what a mouthful for our future children… It only felt right to combine our names the way we were combining our lives.” The new name could be a combination of both your surnames, as Greesonbach and her husband chose. There’s also the option of picking something that suits you both—a shared interest or something meaningful. Of course, whatever a couple chooses always comes with some headaches. Creating a new name may offend family members who feel you’re abandoning your heritage or history. There’s also legal red tape to consider. Fortunately, Florida’s marriage surname change laws don’t just apply to women as in some other states. According to the Duval County Clerk of Courts, both men and women can change their names after marriage with little trouble. There’s only a fee of $46.75 to have their fingerprint taken to match their new identity. Of course, the changing of the name is only the first step. That change needs to continue with all one’s personal documents. Your driver’s license, credit cards, voter registration, insurance policies, wills and so on…

By Jocelyn Tolbert

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