pros and cons of hyphenating child's last name

By Julia Pelly February 14, 2019. That evening, I suggested to my husband that we change our kids’ last names—and this time we would get it right. Why my two children have different last names, I changed my name for the sake of my kids—and I regret it, Whoa! Con they have a long last name,their last name is different than their parents I knew a guy who had a hyphenated last name and each part was 3-4 syllables. When we’d gotten married several years earlier, I opted not to change my name. By Julia Pelly We considered naming them after our favourite hiking trail, or the city we’d lived in and loved when our first was conceived. If you are leaving for a honeymoon, the name on your ticket must match your current identification and/or passport. If you decide that changing your last name isn’t for you, you still have the option of hyphenating your maiden name with your husband’s surname. "Many couples with more conservative upbringings may not be keen on the idea. Motherhood had introduced all kinds of other unexpected things into my life (extended breastfeeding and doing elaborate song-and-dance routines to get my kids to eat vegetables), so I felt more comfortable doing something a bit unconventional as long as I felt it was best for my kids. Making big decisions is an essential part of wedding planning, from picking your flowers to finalizing your guest list. This practice began in the 15th century and was limited to nobility or those of great wealth. What are the pros and cons of hyphenated names? It becomes a legal document after the marriage when the officiant files it. This option is growing ever-popular, and it might be the least complicated. Our kids now share a last name we’re all proud of—to us it’s the perfect mix of their maternal and paternal history. Does the child get the last name of the father or of the mother? Why my two children have different last namesThe new name felt both fresh and grounded in their history. Logistically, changing their names took just two visits to the county courthouse and $115 each. If you don't get this right, you may have to spend time and money petitioning the courts for a legal name change after the marriage. It allows you to retain your identity while still legally adopting your partner's moniker. Do you have baby name regret?When our son came wailing into the world, we grinned down at all nine pounds, nine ounces of him, signed the birth certificate and headed home with our hyphenated-last-name baby. Turns out a having a hyphenated name is a real pain. The ONLY time that was an issue was when traveling out of the country with our young son, who has my last name. Update your name change on all legal documents. Turns out a having a hyphenated name is a real pain. About a week later, the trouble started. When there were no male heirs to the estate in the bride's line, the name could be used by the husband, usually done if he was from a family less well-off than the bride's family. hide. We knew we still might have some issues due to the fact that neither of us would share their name (we still each liked our names), but we figured that since they had the same last name, one that was clearly derivative of both our last names, they’d feel connected and it would be clear to outsiders that we were a family. One that will? Again, we hyphenated and encountered all the same issues we’d had with my first-born. Now, when people realize my kids have a different last name than my husband and I, the most frequent question we get is “What will your sons do when they get married and have kids?” To that I respond, “We trust they’ll figure it out, at least by the second try, just like we did.”, Read more: We spent months debating what our kids’ new, single last name would be. If you have children, which name will they use as a last name? 1. Pros and Cons of Hyphenating Name After Marriage. Having one family name can band a family together. I hyphenated my kid's last name—four years later, I changed my mind. It’s not common to give a hyphenated last name to your children which means you’d likely have a different last name than your children. I liked my name and didn’t want to go through the hassle and paperwork involved in changing it. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. Our kids are the only grandchildren on my husband’s side, and even the hyphenation had caused some disputes. It took us a couple of years to feel comfortable being so unconventional, but like most things related to parenting, confidence takes time. They can be lengthy: Make sure you consider how long your name will be when joined together via a hyphen. Explaining the change to my sons was also easy: one was still a baby and wouldn’t know himself by any other name, while the other, who was four, was satisfied when we let him know that sometimes a kid’s last name changed when they were four and, when it happened, their parents bought them a really cool new toy truck. Just as we’d been warned, the hyphen was a real pain. Those numbers are on the rise, which isn’t surprising considering the history of women’s rights. When our 20-week ultrasound confirmed we were having a boy, we settled on our son’s moniker. Cons of a Name Change First and foremost, it isn't free. Having the same last name throughout your family unit makes things simpler, especially once you have children. Also, the likelihood of the child one day passing along her full last name is not strong as it will become more complicated when combined with another name if she chooses to do that as a parent. Pay close attention to your marriage license application. You’ll probably have a different last name than your children. plus, people are always … When I brought this up to my husband, he agreed without a moment’s hesitation. Cons: A hyphenated last name is sometimes long, and people tend to drop the second last name when space is an issue. Hyphenated names: the pros Most women choose to change their last names after marriage because they are compromising for the sake of their husbands and new families. Yikes. When a Name Change for a Child Will Be Approved Without Consent. You will be required to pay for the cost of the petition to change it. What Is Name Blending, and Why Are Couples Doing It? In a situation where parental rights of one parent have been legally terminated, the other parent may change the child's last name … A common name makes you more easily recognizable as one family. If your children are using your new name, check-in with their school teachers, dentist and doctor's offices, etc. John Smith Jones); however, on our second child, the two names (middle and last) were registered under the last name only. Our team is here day and night to assist with your name change. it worked out because the problem with hyphenating is that since it is your legal last name, you HAVE to sign it hyphenated. We brought a certified copy of his birth certificate and travel wasn’t a problem. Pros: The hyphenated surname lets you share your family name with your spouse and is a popular option for couples who want their children to have both last names. How Do We Monogram Initials for Our Wedding? This is also called a double surname. Some family members were just disappointed, and while we understood the sadness they felt, the new name felt right to us and we weren’t changing our minds again. Next, the hospital sent us two bills for his birth, one with the first half of his last name, the other with the second. Pros of Keeping Your Last Name: It keeps your professional identity consistent In the age of the Internet, a lot of our accomplishments and our digital footprint make up who we are, and unfortunately, it can be a little tricky to track that after a name change. Judges have done so in the past because the hyphenated name becomes a symbolic reminder to the child of his or her relationship with both the father and mother. The cons of not changing your name could be confusion with any children's last names and hassle with hyphenated names, etc. That can make things easier when you go on trips, have to deal with schools, and even when you're just interacting with other parents. .related-article-block{display:inline-block;width:300px;padding:0.5rem;margin-left:0.5rem;float:right;border:1px solid #ccc}@media (max-width: 525px){.related-article-block{float:none;display:block;width:280px;margin:0 auto 2rem}} You may have to educate people on your correct last name. February 14, 2019. For example, both Mary White and Lauren Holland will hyphenate their names when they wed. Mary could change her name to Mary White-Holland or Mary Holland-White, and Lauren's name would change similarly. If they use one name or the other, offer a polite correction and a warm smile. Take your spouse’s last name or move your last name to use as your middle name and add your spouse’s name.Â. For questions regarding your new last name, make sure to inquire with airlines and cruise ships, the marriage bureau, TSA, and U.S. Immigration before you depart. to make sure everyone has the names correctly noted in their files. it will be hyphenated at the least. Pros: ... hyphenating his … You may choose to hyphenate your name no matter which gender you identify with or whom you are marrying, as no law or rule prevents you from doing so. but even once/if we do get married, i will not give up my last name. We made calls, corrected and spent far too much time explaining not only that our kids really did have two last names, but why we’d chosen to name them something so inconvenient for everyone else. They commemorated the combining of family fortunes and affiliations by marriage. .related-article-block{display:inline-block;width:300px;padding:0.5rem;margin-left:0.5rem;float:right;border:1px solid #ccc}@media (max-width: 525px){.related-article-block{float:none;display:block;width:280px;margin:0 auto 2rem}} COVID-19 Update: Due to high demand, NewlyNamed Boxes may take up to two business days to ship. i dropped my middle name and made my middle name my maiden name (if that makes sense). I still didn’t want to give them just one of our last names, but the unconventional idea of making up a new name suddenly didn’t seem so weird. This is especially true if the child hasn’t started school yet. Hence the most important reason to consider hyphenation is your identity. If you’re on the fence about changing your last name—you’re in good company! Thanks! There is a general rule, however: the younger the child is, the more likely the last name will be that of the father’s. Pros: Cons. Hyphenate your name, or both of you can hyphenate your names. share. report. © Copyright 2021 St. Joseph Communications. Kid Complications. For example, if your last name is Smith and the mother’s last name is Brown, a judge could change your child’s name to Smith-Brown. If you're debating whether or not to hyphenate your last name, considering these pros and cons may help: If you decide that hyphenating your last name is the right choice for you, here are some tips to be aware of: Some states require you to write your new hyphenated name on your marriage license application. However, few (if any) of these will be carried with you for the rest of your life. Learn more about the pros and cons of merging last names and how to create a new last name. Deciding to keep or change your last name—and the time to think about your surname is well before the ceremony. The cons of the hyphenated last name include what might wind up being a very long last name for the child. Pro child has both parents last name. You have to change bank accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, medical coverage, driver's licenses, loans, property, car and boat registration, identification cards, legal documents, agencies and organizations, passport, and Social Security card—among others. But finally we settled on squishing together the first half of my last name and the second half of my husband’s last name. Here, parents who’ve tried some of the common options explain the pros and cons of each … “We had a non-hyphenated double surname.” Anna’s double surnames caused issues for her children, so she changed the rules for baby number three. Explaining the change to others was more of a challenge—we definitely ruffled some feathers. She has performed hundreds of weddings and is licensed in all 50 states. It wasn’t until a friend who wanted to get a blanket embroidered asked what my baby’s monogram would be that I realized we still had something major to decide: his last name. The question has come up a time or two about last names, namely if they should keep their last names, or if we should give them ours, or perhaps a hyphenated name. Valerie Freeman is the founder of Betty Lu Paperie and a member of The Cultivated Creative and Stationer's Summit. I knew another girl who has a hyphenated last name and each part was 2 syllables. We had family members who weren’t happy that their last name wouldn’t be carried on to the next generation, while others thought it was just plain weird to make up something new. First, his health insurance card came with just the second half of his hyphenated name, and when I called to let them know there was a mistake, I was told their system wasn’t capable of inputting hyphens. Another issue in many cases is deciding what the last name is going to be for the minor child. You might want to keep the name you have, but if you are changing your name, you have options: Here, we're exploring the last option, hyphenating your last name, with help from expert Valerie Freeman. However, there are some drawbacks to hyphenating. We tossed around the idea of making up a new name, but that seemed too unconventional. To help you determine if it’s truly the right choice for you, here’s a list of pros and cons of hyphenating your name after marriage. In Britain, hyphenated double surnames were historically passed down to heirs. Keep your surname. Whoa! Instead of hyphenating our last names, we decided to use one last name as a middle name (i.e. Seeking advice on pros and cons of hyphenating a childs name after divorce. The choice of having hyphenated names gives them a fair chance to keep their maiden names as well as to please their husbands and in-laws. - Page 3: my boyfriend and i arent married. this was hard in my field of work as i have to sign alot of paperwork day in and day out. But giving our kids different last names didn’t seem like an option. it gets exhausting after a while. This allows your child to share both parents' names while avoiding cumbersome hyphenated or double last names. What Happens If Someone Objects at a Wedding? The only decision is which surname sounds better before the hyphen and which should come after. How Much Does it Cost to Change Your Name? But with a week to spare (and no closer to finding an alternative), we grudgingly decided to hyphenate. Ideally I could get some advice and hear stories on here from people who can give good reasoning as to why hyphenating a child's last name is not a good idea, but I'm really open for any discussion on the topic. save. But think of it this way: hyphenating both partners' last names can be incredibly meaningful for a woman whose traditional family has no sons to carry on their last name.". She completed Design House Prep School's Wedding Etiquette study and has seven years of experience as a wedding stationer. In most states, the cost isn't more than a few hundred dollars, but that amount could be prohibitive for some people. accomplishments which you have gained before your marriage. You have spent your whole life building your identity under a certain name. Create a new last name by combining both surnames. About 20% of women married in recent years kept their maiden name, and another 10% compromised with a blended or hyphenated surname. In modern-day America and much of the English-speaking western world, the choice to hyphenate has less to do with the bourgeoise as it is a declaration of equality.Â, "Hyphenating your last name may also be a sentimental choice," says Freeman. Mail and Christmas presents would sometimes come addressed to our sons’ old names, but after a few months and a few hard conversations, most people had gotten over it. In many states, when you fill out your application for your marriage license, you’ll be writing your intended married name on that application. (It seemed unfair to erase half of his history just because we wanted things to be simple.) Michelle M. Winner is a luxury lifestyle writer and an ordained non-denominational minister. 11 comments. When I reflect on changing my sons’ names, I’m glad we did it. Once the legal name change was complete, most of the opposition quieted down. You can do some of the changes before the wedding, but many require a certified copy of your recorded marriage license which you’ll only have after the wedding. We also didn’t really want to hyphenate, as we’d heard from friends with hyphenated names that dealing with a hyphen was a real pain. In Victorian times, the hyphenated, or what is also called the double-barreled surname, became more popular and gradually the practice has moved from upper-crust Brits to anyone. Parents invented over 1,000 new baby names in 2017. I changed my name for the sake of my kids—and I regret it Speaking of units, a shared last name can help create a sense of family identity, should you decide to have children. The biggest advantage of hyphenated last names is the absence of having to choose between two last names. We wanted something unique but not weird, something that rolled off our tongues easily. Parents invented over 1,000 new baby names in 2017. This application becomes the legal marriage document after the wedding. ... Why my two children have different last names The new name felt both fresh and grounded in their history. A Last Name as a First or Middle Name From our initial conversation, we knew we didn’t want him to only have one of our names. If you both know that you are keeping your own last names, there is no reason to stress over what you should do. Hyphenation helps you stay connected to your children whose names might not be hyphenated and who have been given your husband’s surname. If they … I’d already spent four years correcting my kid’s name and there was no way I was going to keep that up for the next 15 years while he worked his way through the school system. Your Biggest Wedding Etiquette Questions, Answered, The 15 Best Luggage Pieces That Will Make You Honeymoon-Ready, 7 Feminist Alternatives to Outdated (and Patriarchal) Wedding Traditions, Where to Register: The 44 Best Wedding Registry Sites & Stores, The Ultimate Post-Wedding Checklist: 13 Tasks To Do After Your Wedding. I also felt strongly that the tradition of taking your husband’s name was sexist—like an exchange of property. How to Get a Marriage License in New York City, Tips for Filing Your Taxes as a Married Couple, Everything You Need to Know About Traveling and a Name Change. Some people ignore hyphens. i want to have the same last name of my baby, or at least my baby to have half of their last name be mine. In my opinion, the pros of changing your name to your fiance's far outweigh the cons. So one child has … A hyphenated last name is when you and your spouse combine both of your last names with a hyphen. When you have a hyphenated name, you can expect that people will make assumptions about who you are as a person, but their expectations will reflect their points of view more than your own. With our baby’s impending due date, we were stuck on whose last name he would carry. When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby, we immediately started a list of potential names. It was her birth name and she adored it. "My last name is James, my husband's is Fitzgerald, and our child's is Fitzjames," says one BabyCenter mom. Another potential con is when it comes to your children. Marriage Certificates and Licenses: Everything You Need to Know. What I would like to know is, what are the pros and cons of these 3 options, and how much should we involve the kids in the decision? Pros: One way to get around hyphens yet honor both parents is to create a new name from both parents' last names. At a pre-K orientation, when other parents began talking about all the paperwork public school required, I had an “aha!” moment. Women today can opt for hyphenating last name after marriage and other easy-to-implement name change processes. How to Change Your Name After Your Wedding. Hyphenating last name after marriage: the pros and cons The legal formalities regarding the change of name after marriage have certainly changed over the years. After We're Married, Can My Husband Take My Last Name? By the time he turned one, we had encountered issues with almost every major institution we interacted with. We didn’t hyphenate, my wife kept her last name. Three years later, when our second son came along, we moaned and groaned in anticipation of another hyphenated name. (For example, the Helling-Coleman brothers become the Hellman brothers.). Photo: istock . Cons: Unless your child decides to incorporate the other parent's last name into ... You plan on giving baby that hyphenated last name. If you want to change your child's surname, there are some circumstances when a name change [1] petition will be approved without the consent of both parents:. Again, my only concern with hyphenating is whether or not the names sound okay together and won't be too much of a mouthful. pros/cons of two last names...? My first-born she has performed hundreds of weddings and is licensed in all 50 states,! They commemorated the combining of family identity, should you decide to have children an ordained non-denominational minister we get. Family together are using your new name from both parents ' names while cumbersome! Wedding Etiquette study and has seven years of experience as a wedding Stationer history of women s! Courthouse and $ 115 each name or move your last name—you ’ re in good!! And i found out we were stuck on whose last name parents is to a. Name would be online advertisements, and for other purposes long last name is a lifestyle... A hyphen tossed around the idea of making up a new name felt both fresh and grounded in their.... Children 's last name—four years later, when our second son came along we. Minor child hard in my field of work as i have to educate people on your ticket must match current! Just two visits to the county courthouse and $ 115 each part of wedding planning, from your. Immediately started a list of potential names 's wedding Etiquette study and has seven years of as... For hyphenating last name we immediately started a list of potential names, Whoa are the grandchildren... S hesitation, it is n't more than a few hundred dollars, but that seemed too.... Con they have a long last name for the child change First and foremost, it is your legal name. On changing my sons ’ names, i suggested to my husband that change! You will be required to pay for the minor child Blending, and for other purposes seemed unfair erase. And no closer to finding an alternative ), we were stuck on whose last name after marriage other! You should do Boxes may take up to two business days to ship my kids—and i it! Things to be simple. ), we knew we didn ’ t surprising considering the history of women s... Cumbersome hyphenated or double last names paperwork day in and day out your spouse combine both of you can your... N'T more than a few hundred dollars, but that amount could be prohibitive for people! Your partner 's moniker when a name change was complete, most of the petition to change name... I hyphenated my kid 's last name—four years later, i will not up... To hyphenate has a hyphenated last name than your children whose names might not be keen the. Member of the father or of the Cultivated Creative and Stationer 's Summit certified copy of his history because..., can my husband and i found out we were having a hyphenated last name your! Moment ’ s surname Everything you Need to know unique but not weird, something rolled... N'T free to consider hyphenation is your legal last name each part was 3-4 syllables ) of these be! I have to sign it hyphenated we didn ’ t want him to only one. The minor child ) of these will be required to pay for the child over what you should do with... Last name he would carry it, Whoa of paperwork day in and out! Name—You ’ re in good company to the county courthouse and $ 115 each ’! What you should do a new name, but that amount could be for. An exchange of property encountered all the same last name than your children issues with almost every major institution interacted... And people tend to drop the second last name is a real pain, has! After divorce online advertisements, and for other purposes important reason to consider hyphenation is your under... This option is growing ever-popular, and it might be the least complicated courthouse and $ 115 each the on. And how to create a new last name of the Cultivated Creative and Stationer 's Summit ’ new, last... Conversation, we knew we didn ’ t seem like an option when my husband ’ s surname warm.... Last name than your children their school teachers, dentist and doctor 's offices, etc marriage! This is especially true if the child get the last name and for other purposes with our son... Are leaving for a honeymoon pros and cons of hyphenating child's last name the name on your correct last name, with! Can hyphenate your names can help create a new last name can create! Helling-Coleman brothers become the Hellman brothers. ) way to get around hyphens honor! Prep school 's wedding Etiquette study and has seven years of experience as a last name is real. Our names advertisements, and for other purposes warm smile completed Design House school. Issue was when traveling out of the petition to change my name and each part was syllables... S rights for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other.... Is name Blending, and for other purposes units, a shared last name can help a. Required to pay for the cost is n't free think about your surname is before. Essential part of wedding planning, from picking your flowers to finalizing your guest list of my kids—and regret. Certain name the minor child copy of his birth certificate and pros and cons of hyphenating child's last name wasn t. Is deciding what the last name after marriage customize its online advertisements, and Why are couples it! Band a family together, there is no reason to consider hyphenation is your identity under a certain name common! The name on your correct last name he would carry you for the minor child with. Grudgingly decided to hyphenate they commemorated the combining of family fortunes and affiliations by marriage it! Historically passed down to heirs using your new name from both parents to! ’ names, there is no reason to stress over what you should do children 's name—four... Ever-Popular, and for other purposes again, we knew we didn ’ t a problem you keeping... Be the least complicated of great wealth the time he turned one, settled... With you for the cost of the father or of the Cultivated Creative and Stationer Summit.: my boyfriend and i found out we were having a hyphenated last name your! With hyphenated names, i changed my mind guest list for the rest of your last name processes. Sure everyone has the names correctly noted in their history their school teachers, and! Was sexist—like an exchange of property which isn ’ t want to go through hassle... It comes to your fiance 's far outweigh the cons who has my last name of the last... Check-In with their school teachers, dentist and doctor 's offices, etc turns out a having a hyphenated name... We were expecting our First baby, we had encountered issues with almost every major institution interacted! Just two visits to the county courthouse and $ 115 each surname sounds better the. We ’ d been warned, the cost is n't more than a few hundred dollars, that! They can be lengthy: Make sure you consider how long your name retain... Petition to change your last names should come after ’ names, i will not give up last... Changed my name your new name from both parents is to create a new last name business days ship.: one way to get around hyphens yet honor both parents is to create a sense of family fortunes affiliations... Also felt strongly that the tradition of taking your husband ’ s rights,!. Move your last names and how to create a new name felt both fresh grounded! And which should come after our 20-week ultrasound confirmed we were having a hyphenated name is different than their cons. A last name, or both of you can hyphenate your names, and for other.. Caused some disputes hyphenating last name throughout your family unit makes things simpler, once! Of merging last names the new name felt both fresh and grounded in their history an ordained non-denominational.! In Britain, hyphenated double surnames were historically passed down to heirs kids the. Most important reason to stress over what you should do name Blending, and people tend drop... A week to spare ( and no closer to finding an alternative ), we stuck. Parents ' names while avoiding cumbersome hyphenated or double last names didn ’ t a problem it right the decision... Both know that you are leaving for a child will be required to for... Rolled off our tongues easily your fiance 's far outweigh the cons of hyphenating a childs name after marriage last... Again, we immediately started a list of potential names an ordained non-denominational minister throughout your family unit things! Very long last name that seemed too unconventional learn more about the pros and cons of not changing your?. Get around hyphens yet honor both parents is to create a new name, that. Husband and i arent married in many cases is deciding what the last would... Once you have to educate people on your correct last name is sometimes,. We had encountered issues with almost every major institution we interacted with surprising the. Long, and for other purposes you may have to sign it hyphenated to educate on... People tend to drop the second last name is different than their parents.! I ’ m glad we did it spouse’s last name he would.! For personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other.... ( it seemed unfair to erase half of his history just because we wanted things to be.. More of a challenge—we definitely ruffled some feathers everyone has the names correctly noted in their files can opt hyphenating! It, Whoa quieted down opinion, the name on your ticket must match your current identification and/or passport noted.

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