Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The question of the last name....

Have you evern wrote your name with the last name of your crush in high school? Did you ever practice signing your name using your boyfriend's or fiance's last name? Honestly, tell me. In this age of women power and feminist views, have you ever thought of retaining your last name once married?

After the reception party, my guy friends from San Beda hoovered over me. Being all lawyers, the question that they asked me if I am going to change my last name to adapt Christian's last name. I told them that this is one issue that we talked about and solved a few months before the wedding. I really wanted to retain my last name but Christian said that it will depict the purpose that we are getting married. He wants me to carry his last name. So I said I will have my last name hyphenated instead.

Legally, there is no law making it mandatory for women to change their last names once they got married. Refer to the article below:

Art. 370, Civil Code of the Philippines. A married woman may use:

(1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband's surname
Example: Liberty Palomo-Quiambao

(2) Her maiden first name and her husband's surname
Example: Liberty Quiambao

(3) Her husband's full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as "Mrs."

Example: Mrs. Christian Quiambao

See the emphasis on the word "MAY." It means that any woman can use any of the three selections. As further explained in the jurisprudence of Hatima Yasin v. The Honorable Judge Shari'a District Court, Zamboanga City (G.R. No. 94986, February 23, 1995), the word "may" is used, indicating that the use of the husband's surname by the wife is permissive rather than obligatory. We have no law which provides that the wife shall change her name to that of the husband upon marriage. This is in consonance with the principle that surnames indicate descent. It seems, therefore, that a married woman may use only her maiden name and surname. She has an option, but not a duty, to use the surname of the husband in any of the ways provided by this Article."

One way or the other, it is customary to our Filipino traditions and culture that a married woman adapt her husband's last name. Some, if not all, do not know that there is no law requiring them to change their last names. It will be good to discuss these kinds of matters with your future husbands. This must be part of any bride's list of to do!

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