A guide to changing your name

This would be one of the things on your post-wedding to do list, how and when to legally change your name after your wedding. Remember, you do not have to change your name and many brides are choosing to keep their maiden name. If you are choosing to change your surname here in Ireland there are no legal requirements.

Whether you are taking your partners name or sticking to your maiden name or using a combination of both surnames, there are a few options to consider.

Emotional:

The process of changing your name can be emotional more than anything. While some brides can’t wait to use their partner’s name, there will be others that are totally against it. For the groom also, it will be emotional – seeing their partner confused about making the decision or even taking offence if they do not want you to their name. Communication is the key and discussing it with your partner well before your wedding, will avoid arguments in the run-up to the wedding.

Taking away your independence:

There are reasons why a woman could feel like she is losing some form of identity by changing her name, it could be that she has built up a strong and successful career using her maiden name, maybe she is an only child and doesn’t want to lose the family name or has just a strong sense of identity that she doesn’t want to lose.

Same sex couples:

For same-sex couples, getting married or entering into a civil partnership, there is no name changing convention. Couples may still face a dilemma over name changing, there are no legal requirements to do so. Again, I would say communication is the key and talk to each other about your options well before the ceremony to reach a compromise.

Your name changing options

Taking your partners name is the most traditional route that couples choose to go down, with the woman taking the man’s surname.

Double barrelling surnames: some men and women decide to adopt a double barrel surname. This works well if you both have fairly short and easy to pronounce surnames.

Meshing Surnames is another idea that is growing in popularity which is combining surnames. The most famous example is the English TV presenter Dawn Porter married actor Chris O’Dowd and changed her name to Dawn O’Porter.

Keeping it informal would be another compromise to keep using your maiden name unofficially by not changing your name or email address at work. If you have changed bank accounts you would need to let the accounts department know.

Places to change your name if you are doing so

Passport office: you would need to apply for a new passport.
Motor Taxation office: changing your driver’s license or wait for its renewal
Revenue office: informing revenue
Bank -your name on the bank cards will change but you should retain the same card numbers.
Doctor, dentist, pension provider, gym, child benefit, social media, LinkedIn or health insurance
Employer for payroll reasons, email address and business cards

Tip of the week

If you are changing your name by meshing surnames or opting for a double-barrelled name, you will need a Deed Form. You can get this by enrolling the Deed Poll in the Central Office of the High Court, it will be filed with your birth certificate, proving that your name has been legally changed.

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