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Should you change your surname when you marry? The public has spoken!!


I recently blogged on 'Changing your name on Marriage'. Following on from this blog, a survey was included in our most recent family team newsletter to gauge public opinion on this point.

The survey consisted of three questions, all of which assumed a heterosexual marriage between a man and a woman.

58% of those surveyed said that a bride should take the husband’s name on marriage and I must admit I was slightly surprised that this was not a lower figure in today’s society; clearly many people still hold the ‘traditional’ view. 9% of those surveyed declined to answer that question, and it would be interesting to see which side of the fence they sit on as this would obviously have an impact on the figures.

50% of those surveyed said that a bride should not keep her maiden name, with a further 25% saying that the bride should keep her maiden name in respect of work purposes only. This totals 75% of those surveyed- a higher percentage than those who positively said a bride should take her husband’s name, so perhaps incorporating people who feel the maiden name should be swapped for a double-barrelled or hybrid name. Only 25% of those polled felt a bride should retain her maiden name- again, showing a trend towards a more traditionalist view.

The final question was whether a husband should have the option of changing his surname to the bride’s surname on marriage. A surprising 58% of those surveyed agreed that Grooms should have this option. Obviously Grooms do have this option, but the number of Grooms who actually choose to take this step on marriage is relatively few! So whilst this 58% suggests an open-minded, more modern approach, the reality is that most Grooms do not exercise this choice.

With the dawn of same-sex marriage and the existence of civil-partnerships for some years now, such questions may not have as much heritage- but without a 'traditional' approach, I imagine the dilemma of who should take whose surname becomes even more fraught!

If you would like to receive any advice on changing your name, or are considering taking somebody else’s surname on marriage, then the outcome of this survey may interest you. It may be worth having a discussion up front, before a dispute arises.

If you require any assistance on this or any other family issue, or would simply like to contact me to discuss the outcome of this survey or to be added to the newsletter mailing list for future survey opportunities, please do not hesitate to  contact Justine Osmotherley from our Family team on 0113 336 3323 or by email at justine.osmotherley@clarionsolicitors.com

Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.