By: MJ Gonzales | Executive Chronicles
For career-oriented women, it takes determination to make a name for their chosen fields. Sometimes the successful ones enjoy remarkable brands and reputations even with just mere mentioning their names like Beyonce Knowles, Halley Berry, and Kim Kardashian. Do you know that they have common denominator? They didn’t change their maiden names after their marriages. If it’s for career sake, is it okay for women to retain their maiden names?
Is it allowed in the Philippines to keep one’s maiden name after marriage?
According to Chief Public Attorney of Public Attorney’s Office [PAO] Persida Acosta, it’s accepted. In her column in Manila Times, Acosta shared Art. 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines in response to ‘Is it mandatory for a wife to use her husband’s surname’ question of her reader named Nica.
“Clearly, a married woman has an option, but not a duty, to use the surname of the husband in any of the ways provided by Article 370 of the Civil Code. She is therefore allowed to use not only any of the three names provided in Article 370, but also her maiden name upon marriage. She is not prohibited from continuously using her maiden name once she is married because when a woman marries, she does not change her name but only her civil status. Further, this interpretation is in consonance with the principle that surnames indicate descent,” PAO officer explained.
Why or why not retain maiden name?
Though there some movements and time periods, where more women choose to retain their maiden names, majority still opt to take their husbands’ surname. Career-wise, the non-practicing lawyer and on air commentator Jill Filipovic explained it’s not advisable to change names. Even in social media sites, searching married women with new surname is hard. It’s like they reestablishing their reputation and online presence from scratch according to her. This is aside from manually filing public documents and updating identification cards to change names.
“Changing your name in the middle may not confuse your current coworkers, but it undercuts your history for past and future employers — those who might want to hire you or those who might want to recommend you,” Filipovic commented.
While there hustles in changing names, many believe it’s just part of the transition process for women. Anyway, retaining the maiden name may still have issues to bear like social scrutiny.