MarriageName Change

Should You Change Your Surname After Marriage?

Women of this new era are educated and independent. They can decide for themselves whether or not they want to change their surname after marriage. Let us dive into the why and how aspects of a legal name change.

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Many people think women must adopt their husband’s surname after marriage. Well, that is just a social convention. Women in India have the right to choose whether or not they want to take up their husbands’ names.

A woman can choose if she wants to continue with the surname she has been living with throughout her life, replace her existing surname with that of her husband’s or add her husband’s surname to her existing one. It is completely her choice, and no law in India demands a woman to change her surname after marriage.

And with a progressive India in the making, some men desire to carry forward their family with their wife’s surname, so they opt for a surname change post marriage. Again, this is a choice men can make for themselves, and no law can bar them from doing so.

As women are the ones who are majorly obligated to change their names post-marriage, let us dig deeper to know more.

Why Some Women Do Not Wish to Change Their Surname After Marriage?

  • Most women feel changing even the surname would take away the identity they have been addressed by, or known by since their birth
  • They have worked hard to build an identity for themselves over years, which would go unrecognisable on changing their surname.
  • Their maiden surname has been reflected in all their achievements, school and college certificates, bank accounts, credit cards, and whatnot.
  • It takes away the feeling of being an independent modern-day woman.


What Makes Women Change Their Surnames Post Marriage?

  • Majorly to make the paperwork easy. With the same surname as the husband’s, it becomes easy to do the paperwork while applying for a passport, joint bank account, ration card, etc.,
  • The name change will help avoid any kind of confusion. It is expected that all the members of the family share the same surname. Also, some women feel the need to take up the new family’s surname to feel a sense of belongingness to the new world she stepped into.
  • Also, when kids are involved, surname change makes everything easy for the kid. Different surnames for the parents might lead to an identity crisis for the children.
  • You can leave behind a past, and restart afresh by changing your name.


The Procedure to Change Your Surname After Marriage

For a comprehensive name-change service, you can reach out to Vakilsearch, or change the name by yourself with the following 3 steps.

  1. The first step is to visit a nearby notary and get an affidavit stating the old name, the new name, and the reason for the change. You might have to even submit a copy of your marriage certificate. Then you will have to print your affidavit on ₹10 stamp paper. If you are abroad, you can approach the embassy to attest your affidavit.
  2. You will then have to publish an ad in any two newspapers, one local language and one English paper.
  3. The final step is to get your name published in the official gazette. For this visit the Controller of Publication of any Government Gazette. You will have to submit certain documents like your Identity cards, photographs, the original copies of the newspaper advertisements, etc.,

If the application was successful your legal name will be changed in the official gazette within 15-30 days.

The Takeaway

Doesn’t matter if you belong to a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, or any other religion, the Indian law does not mandate a woman to change her surname after marriage. Though ceremonially if your name is changed post marriage, you will have to follow the above-mentioned procedure to legally change your name.

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