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Changing Surname!

Changing Surname!

Old Oct 17th 2019, 9:36 am
  #1  
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Default Changing Surname!

Hi All,

My wife and I are moving to Delaware in December. We have been married for 5 years but due to the work involved with changing her surname in two countries she has never bothered to change it officially.

After some discussions we have considered that I take her surname instead, as I have no attachment to mine, our daughter took my name so we would have to change her surname too.

Have any expats got any experience of changing your surname after you have moved to USA? I know it is different state to state.

Thanks
nearlyinusa.

Thanks
Michael
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

You'll likely need to file an application with the state you're living in. I would Google "name change in x without marriage" where x is the state.
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Hey Tom,

Thanks for this. I found a form I need to fill in for Delaware, even by County, it seems a bit too easy. Why do you say "name change in x without marriage" when marriage is the reason I would be changing my name?

Thanks
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Why not complete a Deed Poll and get your passport changed before you go?
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Originally Posted by nearlyinusa View Post
Hey Tom,

Thanks for this. I found a form I need to fill in for Delaware, even by County, it seems a bit too easy. Why do you say "name change in x without marriage" when marriage is the reason I would be changing my name?

Thanks
It sounds like you are already married, so you've missed the opportunity to change your name for free when you first get married. Now you'll have to do it via a form and fee paid and filed to the local court where you live in the USA.

Rene
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Could I change by deed poll before 29th December?
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Originally Posted by nearlyinusa View Post
Could I change by deed poll before 29th December?
Sure. It takes about a week.

I recommend this outfit: http://www.deedpoll.org.uk
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Why even bother? Plenty of married couples keep their own names.

If you really want to and are prepared to wait a while longer, you have the option to change your name when (if) you become a US citizen.
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
Why even bother? Plenty of married couples keep their own names.

If you really want to and are prepared to wait a while longer, you have the option to change your name when (if) you become a US citizen.
He wants to take his wife's name. It's a little different.
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
He wants to take his wife's name. It's a little different.
Only because he figured it would be easier than her taking his name. He is also talking about changing his daughter's name as well.

Just saying, it's not compulsory for anyone to change their name.
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
Only because he figured it would be easier than her taking his name. He is also talking about changing his daughter's name as well.

Just saying, it's not compulsory for anyone to change their name.
I agree completely -- I never changed mine! I totally misread that he was changing it for expediency -- I thought he liked hers better!
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Probably a stupid question but won't you have to change your name in 2 countries too? And deal with USCIS as a result? Add to that changing your daughter's name I'd argue it's actually more complicated for you to take your wife's name than it is her to take yours.
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

I’m sure you have your reasons, but inability to prove a change of name is a common reason for getting denied all kinds of stuff in the US. If it were me, I’d just leave alone.
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 9:01 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

If you are still in the UK, there is no time limit to change of name after marriage - for either party. I suspect the easiest way to do it with respect to a US move would be to do it first in the UK (driving license, passport, bank details) and then apply for your visa.

Again, from a U.K. perspective, you can use whatever name you like, as long as there is no intent to deceive - you don’t have to do a deed poll. In practice, if you don’t have a marriage certificate to show the link to your new name (ie that of your spouse either on it’s own or double-barrelled with your own) it can get complicated getting officially recognised with the new name. It’s uncommon for men to change to their wife’s name, but in this age of marriage equality it’s becoming more common to at least double-barrell names.

I know this because I had an argument with HR at work after I got married - I retained my maiden name professionally but used my husbands name outside of work. I tried to update our HR system with “also known as” in case of outside enquiries/ future references, and got into an argument with HR who insisted I use my “legal name” at work and they would not accept that both names are “legal”.

Be aware though, again in the UK that once you change your name on government documents (passport, driving license) using marriage as the reason, you can’t change it back easily outside of official declarations/ separation/ divorce documents. So be really sure before you go ahead.

sorry I can’t help on the US perspective.
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 10:55 pm
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Default Re: Changing Surname!

Originally Posted by yellowroom View Post
If you are still in the UK, there is no time limit to change of name after marriage - for either party. I suspect the easiest way to do it with respect to a US move would be to do it first in the UK (driving license, passport, bank details) and then apply for your visa.

Again, from a U.K. perspective, you can use whatever name you like, as long as there is no intent to deceive - you don’t have to do a deed poll. In practice, if you don’t have a marriage certificate to show the link to your new name (ie that of your spouse either on it’s own or double-barrelled with your own) it can get complicated getting officially recognised with the new name. It’s uncommon for men to change to their wife’s name, but in this age of marriage equality it’s becoming more common to at least double-barrell names.

I know this because I had an argument with HR at work after I got married - I retained my maiden name professionally but used my husbands name outside of work. I tried to update our HR system with “also known as” in case of outside enquiries/ future references, and got into an argument with HR who insisted I use my “legal name” at work and they would not accept that both names are “legal”.
this can get messey, my wife had a coworker who did this... the issues started when she was flying to a conference.... her PA booked her flight with the name she used at work.... but she had changed her legal name to her husbands when she married so her ID did not match the ticket...

from a travel with only 1 parent and health insurnace / next of kin at the hospital in case of an emergency where decisions need to be be made having the same name can make life much easier... if you don’t do it now and go for Citizenship you are able able to change your name in the US Citizenship process.
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