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Made in India Magazine | January 17, 2021

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Deepak Gopalakrishnan

One of the biggest questions that plague newly married women today is the question of whether or not they should keep their maiden names. There are pros and cons on both sides, and in this article, we give them all to you so that you can make a decision.

Back in the day when property got transferred from father to sons without any mention of the mother, it made perfect sense for the wife to take the husband’s name after marriage. After all, in those days, women were considered – in these matters – to be no better than property. And since it was generally the man of the house that worked and handled financial matters, common sense dictated that the wife take her husband’s name.
But times have changed. Women today are quite capable of running homes and working. So why should they change their names after marriage? That’s a good question, and more and more women are choosing not to take their husband’s names.
If you’re confused about whether or not to change your name, here are three factors you may have to consider.

1. Which name do you like better? If it is a name you will be stuck with for the rest of your life, it better be something you like. Between your maiden name and his name, if you like yours better, go ahead and tell him that. If you like his name better, then go ahead and change it. For once, you get to choose between two names. Why not make use of it?

2. The paperwork of changing your legal name is not insubstantial. You have to ask yourself how important your name is to you, and how much it contributes to your sense of identity. There are also other factors such as which name the kids will have once they grow up, and also whether your in-laws will accept you better into their family if you take their name. Also, it is a question you should ask yourself: will your relationship with your husband be better or worse if you took his name?

3. Like in everything else, there are options here as well for the understanding couple. Why not keep both names and keep everyone happy? In this case, you will still have the paperwork and logistical issues, but at least no one will feel short changed.

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