Should you take your spouse's last name? | The Tylt

Should you take your spouse's last name?

According to the tradition of coverture, it is common practice for a woman to take a man's last name when they are married. Many modern-day newlyweds—between all genders—prefer to keep to this tradition in order to reflect a strong family unit. Others point out that the tradition is rooted in the dominion of a man over a woman and should not be honored as a result. Others simply cannot imagine parting with their last name. What do you think?

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The practice of taking the male spouse's last name comes from the legal doctrine of coverture, where a woman's legal rights become subordinate to her husband's upon marriage. ThoughtCo. uses a definitive statement from the United States v. Yazell case to illustrate coverture's impact:

United States Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black is quoted saying, in a thought expressed by others before him, that "the old common-law fiction that the husband and wife are one...has worked out in reality to mean...the one is the husband."

Taking your partner's last name honors outdated and suppressive gender roles. Plus, the tradition itself was meant for heterosexual marriages, which further adds to the argument that the practice is obsolete.

There's no reason why one partner should take the name of the other; married couples can exist with different last names and still function.

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Some couples see changing their name as a gesture of commitment, not of subservience of one partner to the other. A couple with the same last name symbolizes a family unit. 

It is possible for couples to leave the past in the past with the surname tradition; it can mean whatever they want it to, whether that be a sign of respect, love, commitment or all of the above. 

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There's no reason why either spouse has to give up their last name. Some couples opt to hyphenate their last names, starting a new tradition upon their marriage. 

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If you and your partner decide to have children, having the same last name is ideal. If two partners have two distinct surnames, which name does the child then take?

Furthermore, if partners decide to hyphenate their last names, will the child's name be too long? And if that child decides to get married, do they then hyphenate their already hyphenated names? It's easy to see how this practice could get out of hand. 

For a child's sake, it's easier for one partner to take the last name of the other. 

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Some people are simply attached to their last names. You live your entire life with the surname you're born with, and marriage should not mean that you have to abandon it. As MSN's Natasha Smith writes: 

My name is my identity. My surname has been mine for the past 32 years and I've battled countless obstacles and celebrated so many life achievements with that name.

Plus, changing your name is a huge hassle. Smith warns many spouses-to-be: 

It's a paperwork nightmare.If you enjoy filling out forms, waiting in never-ending lines, and spending countless hours going around to different government offices, then you are golden. But for the majority of people (even with those presumed "easy" name-change services), from driver's licenses to passports to titles, it is needless work. 
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In the end, many people feel that despite the work on the front end to change your last name, it's worth it in the long run. 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should you take your spouse's last name?
#KeepMyName
A festive crown for the winner
#ChangeMyName