I have retained my maiden name and added on my Husband's name to my last name.
I do NOT have a "hyphen" in between my maiden name and my Husband's name.
IF you put a "hyphen" in between the 2 last names... that 2 name last name, becomes 'legally' your name....and is considered as "one" name. So you thus have to use both names, always. IF you do NOT have a 'hypen' between your 2 last names, you can legally use EITHER last name- your maiden name or your Husband's last name, or both.
So that is why I chose to do it that way.
I got professional legal input on that, per whether to put a hyphen or not between the 2 last names.
I retained my maiden name because:
1) my Dad/Mom do not have sons. Only daughters. I thus, want to retain my maiden name, because, I want to continue my family name. It is a prominent name, historically and culturally.
2) because, by retaining my maiden name WITHOUT putting a "hyphen' between my and my Husband's last name... I then, did NOT have to go about changing my 'last name" on all my bills/legal documents/credit cards etc. BUT for important accounts/insurance/medical/legal papers, etc, I do of course, informed them of my name combination change.
But yes, if you keep your maiden name and add on your Husband's you DO need to inform your insurance/accounts/life insurance etc., because these are more legally and financially important... and to also declare a "beneficiary" per your choice.
For me, I can use my maiden name OR my Husband's last name or both. Per the level of importance or applicability, per accounts etc.
My kids, they just have my Husband's last name.
I do wish though... that they had my Maiden name as well. Because as I said, my Dad had no sons and my siblings have no kids. Therefore, our family name, will be LOST.... in my subsequent offspring and theirs as well. My Husband, said I can add my maiden name to theirs if I want... or they can do that when older. I long to do that.
Because as I said, my family's last name is historically very prominent. And culturally. I do not want to lose, our lineage... or its important in my kids lives etc.
Many women, retain their maiden name, for professional reasons. As well. It is not so unusual nowadays.
My kids, have NO confusion, about their last name and 'why' I still have my maiden name and my Husband's name.
You just explain to them. I simply told my kids, that I wanted to keep my maiden name, my family name. Because of the reasons I stated here.
They totally understand. They know, my maiden name, is very important and because Grandpa didn't have sons, to carry on his name. So I am.
They are proud of that. They understand completely.
all the best,