When my children complain that they do not have their own rooms, I tell them I had my own room for exactly one year.
As a child, I shared with siblings. In college, I shared with roommates. And when I finally moved overseas for my job, then and only then did I have my own sweet, sanctuary of space. My very own room. And then I met my husband.
So much for personal space. He dropped his boots and Kevlar helmet in the middle of the joint and I’ve been tripping on them ever since.
But marriage means a lot of sharing. This week, Pamela McBride wrote about sharing that new last name, and whether it is a good move for you, career-wise.
And with the recent marriage of the world’s most eligible bachelor, George Clooney, to London-based attorney Amal Alamuddin, the decision to change monikers is a hot topic. The high-profile career woman, a stranger to tabloid readers, but a power player in international circles, will now be known as Mrs. Clooney, both personally and professionally.
Professional women everywhere, who have built a brand with their maiden name, may have shuddered a little at the thought. Most writers I know still use their maiden name, having married long after their byline became a permanent fixture on the front page. Performers can find themselves stuck in the same situation, as will any professional who makes a living by being recognized by their name.
But, it seems the somewhat antiquated practice is seeing a resurgence. A 2013 poll found that just 8 percent of women are choosing to keep their maiden name. That is down from a whopping 23 percent in the mid-90s.
So, as a newly minted military wife who is learning the lingo, the locations and probably dealing with deployment, here is a yet another to do list, to make sure that you are known as Mrs., not just among your friends and co-workers, but to the government and other official sources.
This list is courtesy of www.bankrate.com
- Have copies of your marriage certificate on hand. You will need proof of your union and the Social Security Administration will request a copy that you will never receive back.
- Contact the Social Security administration first. Don’t worry if your address labels are incorrect, worry first that your name matches your social security number. If it doesn’t, it could impact your payroll and tax return.
- Update your driver’s license and voter registration.
- Tell your employer, this may also be a good time to look over your benefits and insurance coverage now that you have a new family member
- Contact your bank. This change will most likely have to be made in person, with proof, such as the marriage certificate or a new driver’s license.
- Tell your creditors. Still receiving bills and paying them, so it doesn’t matter, right? Wrong. If you are still paying your bills under your maiden name, you will not build credit under your correct name. So, next time you apply for a loan, with stellar credit you’ve built up since the honeymoon, you will be declined. Why? Because the old you built the good credit, not the married you.
- Finally, make it a point to compose a list of all the professional associations, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, associations and other places that you frequent. They all need to know who you are now too.
And don’t forget to practice that new signature!