Second Weddings

To hyphen or not to hyphen

I need some advice. Should I hyphen my last name after marriage?? On one hand, I can't WAIT to get rid of my ex's last name, BUT it's my kids' last name and now that I am working at their school, all the kids call me by that name. So I was thinking of maybe hyphening it. the kids' last name first and them my married name.
Thoughts??
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Re: To hyphen or not to hyphen

  • Oh man, that's such a tricky one. My last name is my late husband's rather than my ex's so I thought about hyphenating but I finally decided it was most important to send the message to my fiance that I'm committed and all about him. There's no kids, though, so that'd definitely be a factor. 
    I find hyphenating a bit cumbersome, as well, when I'm at work, but as long as you're consistent. Please don't hyphenate sometimes and then use one and then the other and then have both names with just a space, you'll drive OCD secretary types like me crazy!
    Bottom line, no one can really make that decision for you, it's a challenge we've all got to tackle. Good luck!
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  • Here's my experience with kids' friends and teachers ... most will always call you Mrs. Kids' Last Name, whether or not you have that name.  My son is 19, his dad and I separated more than 14 years ago.  His friends and teachers still call me by my ex-husband's last name.  Now hear this -- I never took my exH's last name, legally or socially.

    Moral of the story, do what you want with your name.  I've never seen the logic in making a legal name change.  I did not change my last name when I married in 2011; neither did my husband.

    Hyphenation works for some people, not for others.  Try it out for a while without making a legal name change and see how you like it.  There is no expiration date on when you can change your name, if that's what you decide to do. 

    Good luck!
  • And here's another experience to help you deicde.  I never changed my name the first time (married in 1985), and we hyphenated my daughter's name, with mine and his.  Everyone just used the first name (mine) and never used his.  When my daughter married, she dropped her dad's name, and moved mine to her middle, took her husband's last name.  (Her dad's name was French and very difficult to spell--mine's easy, her husband's even easier!)  

    When I got married in 2008, I didn't change my name either.  His is a difficult name--9 letters, ends in a z, and only has one vowel.  Yeah, NOOOOOO.   Because of my work, many folks refer to him as Mr. MY lastname, and occasionally, I get called Mrs. HIS lastname.  I don't make a fuss, it doesn't really matter what they call us.

    What you need to consider is that you make everything consistent legally.  I asked a lawyer about the hyphenating before I got married the first time, and he advised that I use MY last name as the last part of the hyphenation, because frequently people will drop the first part.  So, if you want to be called Mrs. Jones-Smith, it's OK, but just be aware of what folks will shorten it to,l which is Mrs. Smith.   So, I didn't hyphenate mine.  Folks shortened my daughter's name to my name because her dad's was so difficult. 
    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • I was on the fence about this as well. DS is 12 and DD is 9, and I didn't change my name back after the divorce because we (ex and I) didn't think it was a big deal, it made it easier for the kids, and all of my written work was published under that name.

    But I'm not really okay with hyphenating - to me it feels like holding on to the past. (It would be different if it was my maiden name, I suppose) I think that the kids are old enough to understand that my changing my name has nothing to do with them. 

    It's a personal thing, but for me, I will be changing my name because it feels right. 
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  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited January 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_to-hyphen-or-not-to-hyphen?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:35Discussion:00d2f297-3e88-4c5e-bc66-7f8793ddcb8ePost:ad31dbb6-4f6b-409b-b67c-1bb614d096d7">Re: To hyphen or not to hyphen</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think that the kids are old enough to understand that my changing my name has nothing to do with them.
    Posted by jennylee813[/QUOTE]I'm way older than your kids, and <em>I</em> still don't understand this.  You are in effect telling your kids that it is important to you to change your name, because you are becoming part of your FI's family.  But if they believe you that "having the same name" is related to "being part of the same family," how can they <em>not</em> see your ceasing to have the same name as them as meaning you no longer care about being part of their family?

    I never changed my name, and my children's last name was different from mine.  But my children grew up knowing that lots of people in the same family (<em>e.g.</em>, maternal relatives, women on their father's side who had changed their names, <em>all </em>of their cousins) had different names.  So it never troubled them that I had a different name from them.  I think it would have been much tougher if I'd initially had the same last name, and then changed it.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_to-hyphen-or-not-to-hyphen?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:35Discussion:00d2f297-3e88-4c5e-bc66-7f8793ddcb8ePost:79731da0-9447-4970-821d-c14e6207e84c">Re: To hyphen or not to hyphen</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: To hyphen or not to hyphen : I'm way older than your kids, and I still don't understand this.  You are in effect telling your kids that it is important to you to change your name, because you are becoming part of your FI's family.  But if they believe you that "having the same name" is related to "being part of the same family," how can they not see your ceasing to have the same name as them as meaning you no longer care about being part of their family? I never changed my name, and my children's last name was different from mine.  But my children grew up knowing that lots of people in the same family ( e.g. , maternal relatives, women on their father's side who had changed their names, all of their cousins) had different names.  So it never troubled them that I had a different name from them.  I think it would have been much tougher if I'd initially had the same last name, and then changed it.
    Posted by 2dBride[/QUOTE]

    <div>And that's why I said it was a personal (and tough) decision. When my marriage ended, my children were quite young, and I didn't think it was fair to force yet another change on them. They had to move, go between households, and deal with all the other changes that were going on in their lives. Now they're older and have adapted. They know that my name has no effect on me being their mother, and yes, they too know that their relatives have different names, and that some women change their name when they get married.</div><div>
    </div><div>Had I changed my name when they were 5 and 3, I suspect I would have been dealing with the very fallout that you're suggesting now. It was the right decision for me then, and this is the right decision for me now.</div><div>
    </div><div>My original point was that only OP can make this decision. I was sharing my experience so that she's know she isn't the only one who has wrestled with this.</div>
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_to-hyphen-or-not-to-hyphen?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:35Discussion:00d2f297-3e88-4c5e-bc66-7f8793ddcb8ePost:79731da0-9447-4970-821d-c14e6207e84c">Re: To hyphen or not to hyphen</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: To hyphen or not to hyphen : I'm way older than your kids, and I still don't understand this.  <strong>You are in effect telling your kids that it is important to you to change your name, because you are becoming part of your FI's family.  But if they believe you that "having the same name" is related to "being part of the same family," how can they not see your ceasing to have the same name as them as meaning you no longer care about being part of their family?</strong> I never changed my name, and my children's last name was different from mine.  But my children grew up knowing that lots of people in the same family ( e.g. , maternal relatives, women on their father's side who had changed their names, all of their cousins) had different names.  So it never troubled them that I had a different name from them.  I think it would have been much tougher if I'd initially had the same last name, and then changed it.
    Posted by 2dBride[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>And I never said ANY of the bolded, btw.

    </div>
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  • I say change it!! My kids teachers know we're divorced and know I'm getting remarried (small school and my kids have been making it known school needs to get out so mom can get married lol) yet I'm still called mrs __.
  • Change it, but back to your birth name.  End of argument.  You have your own identity, right?  And the entire name change thing dates back to when women were considered property (chattel, is the exact word).  Another reason why not to ever change your name.  I didn't understand the woman changing her name in 1985, and I don't get it now.   

    2dBride never stated you said that in bold, but she was making a point that you were inferring to your children that you're a family with FI now, and no longer with them--at least that's the way I understood it.   

    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_to-hyphen-or-not-to-hyphen?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:35Discussion:00d2f297-3e88-4c5e-bc66-7f8793ddcb8ePost:431aaf13-157c-49d9-a245-2ac86107e379">Re: To hyphen or not to hyphen</a>:
    [QUOTE]Change it, but back to your birth name.  End of argument.  You have your own identity, right?  And the entire name change thing dates back to when women were considered property (chattel, is the exact word).  Another reason why not to ever change your name.  I didn't understand the woman changing her name in 1985, and I don't get it now.   <strong> 2dBride never stated you said that in bold, but she was making a point that you were inferring to your children that you're a family with FI now, and no longer with them--at least that's the way I understood it.   </strong>
    Posted by handfast4me[/QUOTE]

    <div><div>How would it have been different if I had kept my maiden name? I'd still have a different name from them - would that mean that I didn't love them enough to be a part of their family with their dad?</div><div>
    </div><div>This is ridiculous. I don't have any problem with people keeping OR changing their names. I do have a problem with people judging me as a parent. </div><div>
    </div><div>I was sharing my own struggles with the topic that OP posted about so that she'd know there were other people out there dealing with the same issue. That gets turned into my decision to change my name meaning that my FI is more important to me than my kids.</div></div><div>
    </div><div>Not terribly supportive.</div>
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  • Thanks gals for all of the input.

    In answer to one question, yes I do have my own identity. And my FI sees that more now than my ex ever did. I decided to go ahead and change my name to his. For me it's not becoming his property, it's because I love him. It's an old tradition and personally, I don't care about the history behind it. I am no man's property. Just thought I'd make that clear.  
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