To Have, Hold and Hyphenate: Your Married Name


Hyphenating for Practical Purposes

For other women, making a decision about their married names is less emotional and more practical.

Professionals who've earned higher degrees or a strong reputation in their field under their maiden name -- such as lawyers, journalists and doctors -- often keep their name for the sake of professional continuity. Giving up a name might mean losing recognition with clients, readers or patients that they've worked hard to establish.

A hyphen can help bridge the gap between past and present, and it might even hint at an important aspect of your union. To many women, the hyphen can symbolize a true 50/50 partnership in marriage -- especially if their spouses also hyphenate.

Not sure where you stand? We'll share a few reasons not to hyphenate next.