The Name Change Debate
More recently than ever, the choice of whether or not to take your husband's last name has become something of a dilemma. You have several options as far as deciding on your married name… here is a breakdown.
Taking His Name
Back in the good ole days, this was pretty much the only option for women. Not that they were forced to do it… it was just the norm. Many women still opt for this today. Changing your last name to match your husband's identifies you more closely as a team… as a family.
Keeping Your Last Name
This is the best option for those of you who have a business or professional reputation closely linked to your maiden name. For example, if you have been published under your maiden name, suddenly having a new surname would prevent readers from recognizing that the author of two books is the same person. Some women even keep their last name because they prefer it to their husband's. You might get some heated arguments from your in-laws, but you and your husband are still married and are a team, regardless of what your last name is. And besides… do you see your parents getting angry that your hubby isn't taking your last name?
Combination of Names
Many women are following this trend here in the modern era… hyphenating your last name with your husband's captures the spirit of partnership and creates an identity that is solely yours.
Creating a New Last Name
While I think this option would be confusing for your family, not to mention your 836 friends on Facebook, some married couples opt to create an entirely new last name and drop both previous surnames. This is the ultimate creation of a new identity… of a new family… but don't go overboard. I once had a professor who hyphenated her last name with her husband's and he kept his name the same, but they gave their child a newly created last name (something like "Colorado," the state he was born in)… so all three members of the family had a different surname. Talk about confusing!