Can a woman take on a man’s last name legally without marrying him?

My daughter and her fiance are living together. He wants to marry her but she has doubts. They both have children from previous marriages. She has a house, great job, retirement, child support, and a great relationship with her ex-husband. The fiance comes into the relationship with nothing of substance. Although, he just started a new job with decent pay, he is constantly in court with his ex over custody issues. Could she take on his last name to add to her previous last name? She was considering having a type of

Asked on July 14, 2017 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Anyone can legally change their name to essentially any name they want: we could all take the last name "Trump," for example, and hope to get a job in the Administration (or depending on your political bent, take the name "Clinton" to show political affiliation). So your daughter can change her name to his or to a hyphenated version of HER NAME-HIS NAME if she wanted. It takes a few weeks or months, some paperwork, and a small fee; she can contact the clerk of the county court for instructions. If she does change her legal name, she should change her license, bank accounts, etc. to match it, so avoid confusion later.


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