Well, I am finally getting around to starting up a weekly Friday post! I’ve decided to share various bits of wedding wisdom from myself, clients and other wedding vendors to help couples better plan their awesome shindigs!
I generally have pretty modern couples and I’ve seen a variety of things happen in the name-change department. But, Amorae & Jonny decided on something unique; a totally new name that was a combination of both of their original names. But, unfortunately, things didn’t end up being that easy. Amorae has shared their name change journey with me in an effort to help other couples who might want to do something similar.
Here’s what she had to say in a nutshell:
We were under the impression that it would be simple for me to change my name after Jonny changed his because then it’s basically like every other woman who wants to change her name to her husbands name. Well, when we went to the social security office with his official court stamped name change they said that my name could only be changed to the name that was on the marriage license. So we called the marriage license office to see if we could “update” our marriage license with his new name. They said nope. We would have to apply for a marriage license, wait 72 hrs, and then get it signed by a justice of the peace a.k.a get married all over again.
Our only other option was to go through the court name change process for me in the same way Jonny did; which was $300 dollars and six months of waiting for a court date. Apparently the way to go about it is to have the man change his name before the marriage and then it’s easy for the wife to change hers. We should have done this but since we didn’t think about it until a few months before, we were worried about not having the time to get him a new passport and what not for our honeymoon.
So, to sum it up – If both you and your future partner plan on changing your last names; the new last name must be on your marraige certificate or it won’t count!
Amorae also provided some additional name change (costs, time frame, etc) details, in case you are planning on going down this route:
In order for Jonny to change his last name, he had to fill out a “Petition to Change the Name of an Adult,” get it signed by a notary, and then take it to Dallas County District Clerk to pay the fee of $243.00. Online we had read that he needed to bring a fingerprint card (done at the police department and costs about $10) and so we brought that with us when we went in early November to do all this. Well, turned out that you are NOT supposed to bring them with you, you are supposed to mail them to the Texas DPS in Austin (Texas Department of Public Safety, Central Cash Receiving, P.O. Box 15999, Austin, Texas 78761-5999) with $39 dollars so that they could check his fingerprints against the state master files and FBI files to make sure he was not changing his name to evade the law or something. Once you send the fingerprints off, you have to wait until the Austin DPS sends them back to the court. We kept calling to check in. We think it took about 2-3 months for the Dallas office to get them back. Jonny then had to go to the 255th clerk on the 4th floor to take his “Final Order to Change the Name of An Adult.” It was approved and then he was able to schedule a court date. So his court date was finally set but it was set for a month away. Well the time finally came, today, and so he went up there to the courtroom, waited in line, was given a template that he had to read to the judge that said why he wanted to change his name, the judge approved and signed his Final Order. Then he had to get a certified copy which he would get to keep and use as proof for the social security office.
We went to the social security office and like I said that’s where the trouble came in. Even though we had our marriage license to prove that I was married to Jonathan Englett and the court order that proved that Jonathan Englett was now Jonathan Daylett, he said he could not change my name to anything but what was on the marriage license. He said usually a marriage license would count as an official name change document much like Jonny’s court order name change document was accepted, but only if I wanted to change my name to Englett. The social security guy was under the impression that we could just “update” our marriage license but we found out we couldn’t. All they will do is give you more copies of the same one 😛
In the end we determined paying $71 for a new marriage license and waiting three or so days was much easier than paying around $300 and waiting at least a couple months to change my name the court order way.
A few additional notes:
It was very simple for Jonny to change his name on his social security card with the court order. Took like maybe 5 minutes and he will get a new one in the mail. Changing his name on his license was also relatively simple at the DPS except what was totally ridiculous was that they almost wouldn’t accept it because Jonny had traced over his new last name a couple of times at the courtroom because his handwriting was a little sloppy and she thought he had forged something on the document since it was just a copy of the court order and not the original. But you are not allowed to keep the original only the certified copy. Totally ridiculous but at least a fair warning that bad penmanship might cause even more problems.
And I liked that Amorae was able to keep things in perspective, despite the drama:
It sucks getting married again…..but I guess we are really lucky. At least we have the right to get married, and married again, and again.
If you would like to share your wedding advice, shoot me an email!