What's In a Name?


To change or not to change... that is the question!

Using your partner's name after marriage is an age-old tradition which doesn't neccessarily stack up in the modern world. Now that women don't need to belong to a man to get a loan or have any status, one wonders why it's still as common as it is.

Legally, after marriage, you can choose to keep using your "maiden" name, or use your married name. If you choose to use your married name, it does not constitute a change of name. It's not the same as applying for a change of name certificate. Your maiden name remains your legal name, and you can revert to it at any stage.

Deciding whether to use your married name or not can be tricky. There's not one solution for anyone, and I've never yet found a really elegant answer which answers all the difficulties. For example, if you don't change your name, why would the children have their father's surname, and not your surname? Paternity isn't the big deal it used to be either: no-one cares if a child is born out of wedlock. So if one old-fashioned habit goes out the window, surely the next should too? But then what surname do you give your kids?

In theory, the use of hyphens is a good solution, but it doesn't take long to run into trouble when hyphen meets hyphen!

Many women use their maiden name at work and married name in a social setting. That can work, but isn't a perfect solution.

Finally, after a lot of reflection, here is what I decided to do. It worked for me, but what's right for me is only right for me.

When thinking about whether I would take my husband's name or not, it seemed to me that I could either be associated with my parents and my siblings, or with my husband and children. As much as I love the olds, it made more sense for me to be clearly associated with my husband and kids.

But - and it's a big but: I like my married name. Pace is Maltese, and means "peace". That resonates with me and I think suits me. I like things calm! If you look at my logo, you'll see that one of the bits of confetti is a dove. That's a secret nod to my name. But - let's be honest - if I didn't like my partner's name, then I wouldn't have arrived at the same conclusion.

As a link to the past, I didn't change my signature when I took my married name. Besides the "S" at the front it's a scrawl, so it's a moot point: but I know what it is. It's a little link with a young me, with a "before" version of myself.

There's no right or wrong answer, and like so many things, everyone makes a decision that is right for them and for no-one else.

Did you come up with an ingenious solution that you can share? Why did you make the decision that you did?


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