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Old 17.10.2006, 19:58
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Changing Name after Marriage

Hello everyone!

I wonder if anyone can help me... I've read that when a woman marries in Switzerland she has to take the name of the man - or double barrel her name.

Can anyone confirm or deny this for me

I just want to keep my name as it is!!

Thank you all
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  #2  
Old 17.10.2006, 20:02
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Quote:
Hello everyone!

I wonder if anyone can help me... I've read that when a woman marries in Switzerland she has to take the name of the man - or double barrel her name.

Can anyone confirm or deny this for me

I just want to keep my name as it is!!

Thank you all
You can take your husband's last name - Bride Husbandname

-or-

You can use both (seems to be most common) Bride Husbandname Maidenname (and the husband gets the same and backwards from the US and I believe the UK)

-or-

You can keep your maiden name

You just tell them what you want when you fill in your marriage license and the government does the rest
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Old 17.10.2006, 20:04
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Your assumption is correct.

You can decided when you marry if you want double barrel or just the husband's name. The first name change is free.

If you decide later to switch from double barrel to just your husband's name it will cost you a few hundred francs. I read an article the other day that quite a few women do come back a few weeks later unhappy with their double barell names and want to change back.

So decide before you get married - it will be cheaper
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Old 17.10.2006, 20:08
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Thank you both...

So, Evilshell, option 3 is that I can just keep my own maiden name and not change anything? That's what I want to do! (Specially as I've just paid an extortionate amount for a new passport )

My husband (2b) won't change his name at all due to work reasons, which I'm fine about. I just don't want to change mine either

Thanks Mark - I will definitely make my decision before signing on the dotted line. I can do without spending more money
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Old 17.10.2006, 20:13
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Quote:
Thank you both...

So, Evilshell, option 3 is that I can just keep my own maiden name and not change anything? That's what I want to do! (Specially as I've just paid an extortionate amount for a new passport )

My husband (2b) won't change his name at all due to work reasons, which I'm fine about. I just don't want to change mine either

Thanks Mark - I will definitely make my decision before signing on the dotted line. I can do without spending more money
Yep, you can keep your name!

YOur passport can be changed free of charge, they just stick your new name on a page in the back (I believe all countries do it that way, this is how they did my US passport).

You can decide what name to go by. My husband still uses just his name, instead of our mixed name on his ID and other documents. Some places I use just my maiden name, some just my married name, some the double name.
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Old 17.10.2006, 20:17
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Thank you

Who'd have thought it would be so complicated!

In the UK you have to pay for a brand new passport if you change your name. Having just forked out 250 plus francs for a new 10 year one I think I'll just keep it thank you very much
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Old 17.10.2006, 20:19
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

You may need to make your choice clear again in the future as your wishes may not always be followed. I changed my name to my husbands when I got married as I no longer wanted to be known by by maiden name but I still get official forms, letters etc sent to me addressed to my double barreled name.
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Old 18.10.2006, 09:10
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Quote:
Hello everyone!

I wonder if anyone can help me... I've read that when a woman marries in Switzerland she has to take the name of the man - or double barrel her name.

Can anyone confirm or deny this for me

I just want to keep my name as it is!!

Thank you all
Hello Birdie,

Having gone through this not that long ago I can confirm that the above is absolutely almost true.

You have three and a half options.

1. You take the name of your husband.
2. You both take your name (this is relatively new)
3. You keep your name and double barrel (with or without hyphen) it with your husbands name at the end. ie if you are called brown and he is called nose then you will become brown nose unless you can show that this would or might cause offence.
3a. If 3 then you can choose a name from the list of permitted names...

Believe me when I say this is legally described and is not open to discussion for any reason including religion or whatever else.

Richard
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Old 18.10.2006, 09:13
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Quote:

YOur passport can be changed free of charge, they just stick your new name on a page in the back (I believe all countries do it that way, this is how they did my US passport).
You might be interested to know that this according to the new post 9/11 global rules for passports is no longer valid! Any changes made to a passport *must* be under the plastic or printed directly. Interestingly I can well imagine that the US ignores this as there are clearly no terrorists from America apart from those wanting to blow up parts of the States...
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Old 18.10.2006, 10:57
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Interestingly, I think if the woman takes the name of her husband with hers it's like this:

Firstname HerSurname HisSurname

whereas if his name comes first it's

Firstname HisSurname-HerSurname
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:01
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Quote:
Interestingly, I think if the woman takes the name of her husband with hers it's like this:

Firstname HerSurname HisSurname

whereas if his name comes first it's

Firstname HisSurname-HerSurname
This is the correct form
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:05
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Quote:
This is the correct form
it's been quite a while since I got into naming conventions at work, absolute nightmare was what I thought when I first heard it!!
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:07
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Oh no... so I really can't stay just good old simple:

Firstname MySurname...

How terrible . This may call for a re-think
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:22
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

of course you can [keep your surname]
Nothing is mandatory, it's about choice.

My wife, for example, took my surname. They ask you. Don't worry.
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:31
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Lob, I'm a little confused - Richard specifically said that you can't keep JUST your surname (unless your husband takes it as well). Evilshell says you can, I was always told you can't, you've said you can.

There seems to be a lot of confusion on this thread. It's my understanding that a husband and wife must have at least one common name between then, whether it is the husband's or the wife's. In other words you can't have a married couple with totally different names.

Can someone actually post a link to some law or other information on the internet which clearly states the rule? Or does it vary from canton to canton?
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:41
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

If you want to keep your maiden name then I'm sure you can, I took my husband name but as I am pretty un organised it was a year or so before I changed my passport over and various bank accounts, I travelled on that passport fine, I got letters from banks fine - infact I only changed over my joint account to my new married name but kept my business account in my maiden name as it is the name that clients assiciated with me.

I have a friend who double barrelled her name when she married 6 years ago but her passport is still in her maiden name.

I also have a friend who married 20 years or so ago and has kept only her maiden name

I may be wrong but I think it is basically down to your own preference - the complicated side is what will the kids surnames be? my friend who double barrelled her name also gave that double barrelled name to her daughter but her husbands name isn't double barreled. Incidently she double barrelled her name with her husbands surname first followed by her maiden name as she liked the sound of it better...

think I have said double barrelled a bit too much

But I think Mark is right, maybe someone needs to find some official info on this as what may stand for the US or UK may not here.
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:46
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Mark,

The name to use following marriage is definitely not as Lob says a matter of choice. It is ruled Swiss wide in the Civil law book. Furthermore this rather casually states you can choose your own country's version of the law. What it does not mention is that here you need to apply to the court to have your version accepted and this costs between CHF 300 and CHF 1000 AND must be done before the marriage...

Do not know where else to look but taken from the Civil law book (ZKB) is the following:
Namensführung

Der Name einer Person mit Wohnsitz in der Schweiz untersteht schweizerischem Recht. Eine ausländische Person kann jedoch verlangen, dass ihr Name dem Heimatrecht unterstellt wird. Folgende Möglichkeiten der Namensführung bestehen:
  1. Ehegatten führen den Namen des Mannes als Familienname.
  2. Diesem Familiennamen kann die Braut ihren bisherigen Namen voranstellen. Dadurch erwirbt sie einen Doppelnamen, welcher ohne Bindestrich geschrieben wird. Eine entsprechende Erklärung muss vor der Heirat beim Zivilstandsamt abgegeben werden.
  3. Aus achtenswerten Gründen kann die Aufsichtsbehörde den Brautleuten bewilligen, den Namen der Frau als Familiennamen zu führen.
  4. In diesem Fall kann der Bräutigam vor der Heirat auf dem Zivilstandsamt erklären, seinen bisherigen Namen, ohne Bindestrich, voranzustellen.
  5. Ausländisches Heimatrecht
Der Name einer Person mit Wohnsitz im Ausland untersteht dem Recht, auf welches das Kollisionsrecht des Wohnsitzstaates verweist.
Ausländische Brautleute können die Namensführung ihrem Heimatrecht unterstellen. Sie haben die entsprechende Erklärung vor der Trauung abzugeben.
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:49
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Quote:
I also have a friend who married 20 years or so ago and has kept only her maiden name
I presume that this is a friend outside Switzerland? In other countries you can change your name anytime you like to whatever you want (as long as it isn't a swear word), but in Switzerland (and I think Germany and probably Austria as well) names are regulated much more.

Let me ask this question another way. Did anyone keep their maiden name (without the husband changing his) when they got married, and was this person a resident of Switzerland, or even a Swiss citizen when it happened? People in other countries wouldn't really count, since we are talking about Swiss law here.

To Birdie - when deciding whether to get married I presume you've also thought about the other aspects apart from changing your name. This could be fairly minor compared to the additional tax you'll have to pay (though this has just been reformed very recently). There are also legal implications for the father if there are children and you aren't married.
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:54
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

sorry yeah they don't live in CH, I asked a swiss friend about this a while ago and I'm sure she said its not tradition in CH to take your husbands name, i will double check this with her though.

I am assuming if you were married outside of CH and have different surnames then this is OK when moving to CH? what about if you live in CH but say go back to the UK to get married do you then have to follow Swiss law?

Nicky
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Old 18.10.2006, 11:55
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Re: Changing Name after Marriage

Hi Richard, thanks for that info - for those that can read German they'll see it is clear. To summarise:

If you are a Swiss woman you will have to abide by Swiss law that means no maiden name on it's own unless your husband takes your name. If you are a foreigner then you can effectively get out of this, but as Richard pointed out you'll have to apply and this will cost you a lot of CHF.. (note, the law did not state that there were costs to assert the naming rights from your home country), but I think we can assume that Richard is right in stating that it will cost. I presume this is because the courts have to go and look up the law from your home country and spend some time on it - filling in alternative forms etc.
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