Marriage and Last Names: An Overview of your Options in CA

Pleasanton CA famiy lawDid you know that options for married last names are more flexible than ever in 2019? For decades, tradition has dictated that a bride takes her husband’s last name once they are wed. While this option is still a good one for many marriages, this “one-size-fits-all” rule doesn’t always make sense.

For example, this approach is meant for “traditional marriages” and doesn’t provide any guidelines for same-sex couples. In other instances, a soon-to-be-wife would simply rather keep her last name. Fortunately, the family law courts in CA, as well as the rest of the nation, recognize this and as a result the government has implemented a set of options that are flexible enough for couples of all types.

Married Last Name Arrangements in California

Couples who are soon to be wed should consider the following possible last name arrangements as they work to determine what works best for their marriage:

  • Either spouse can take the other person’s last name regardless of gender
  • Both partners can adopt a hyphenated last name that includes both last names within a longer name
  • Both partners can adopt a longer last name that includes both last names without the hyphen
  • Couples can combine both of their last names into a unique, different last name
  • Individuals can choose to keep their last name exactly as it was before the marriage

As far as children goes, the options for last names are equally flexible, and parents usually come to an agreement beforehand whether the child’s last name will be modeled after either partner, both of their last names, or via any of the options described above.

Talk to a Qualified Family Law Attorney

Was this post able to answer your questions about married last names in California? If you’re looking to learn more, or if you want to consult with a qualified family law attorney, don’t overlook the legal experts at the Law Offices of James P. White.

We provide free initial consultations, where we take time to fully understand your legal needs and expectations. Contact us at 925-271-0999 to learn more about how we at the Law Offices of James P. White can help.