Monday, November 30, 2009

(Almost) Legal

Remember a reaaaaalllly long time ago when we talked about how we were going to change our last names? We made a combination of our two last names and we were going to do it?
Yeah, that was a long time ago, wasn't it? (4 months)
Let's just say between the pregnancy, my procrastination of doing unpleasant tasks that involve bureaucracy and Chicken's travel schedule, that little 'task' got pushed back over and over until finally we looked at the calendar and said "Holy Shit".
If we actually wanted to be able to write our new family name on the birth certificate (and having no idea when these babies are going to arrive), we needed to get our asses in gear NOW.

Thankfully, Chicken took a couple of days off over the last couple of weeks to make some trips down to the courthouse. When you have a partner that works out of town all week...well, it does make it hard to get those M-F local things done!

Last week we spent over 3 hours at the courthouse getting the initial paperwork done, paid a $65 fee and today had our court date. After 2 hours waiting on a hard wooden bench in one of the most depressing rooms ever constructed, we were seen by--get this--a judge who told us she was a married lesbian! What Luck! She congratulated us and told us she and her partner had tried to combine their names, but couldn't come up with anything attractive. We got a big compliment from her on our newly combined last name and a big laugh when I told her it was either that or Pissanucker. If you can figure out our previous last names with that clue, well kuddos to you.

Now, due to some archaic law that has been on the books for like, a million years (which the judge apologized for), we have to spend $150 to take out an ad in a small neighborhood newspaper with a legal notice of our name change.
After it goes to press, we take the notice back to the courthouse (and stand in line again for gawd knows how long) and prove that we did it and then, it's LEGAL.
In order to change our names at the SS office, the DMV and our passports--we have to buy certified copies of our name change at $6 a pop each. Urgh.

Moral of the story? When your partner is ready to legally marry you, make sure she is also ready to commit to the new last name. We have had this last name picked out since before our wedding in California and IF Chicken had just been willing to write in the new last name on the line that day--we would not have had to go through any of this hassle--plus the added expense (@$275 total). Do not do what we did! Save yourself the hassle!!

At the end of the day, we're getting it done and we'll be able to write our new family name on the birth certificates which is huge, so it's all worth it. It wasn't quick and easy--at least not in NYC--but it's almost done!

11 comments:

Mina said...

Congratulations on being almost legal! I took DP's name last year, and I went through the same process in Queens. Not easy, but definitely worth it!

2momsla said...

Make sure you check with the DMV before you go to get your new license. In my state I had to wait 24 hours between changing my Social Security card and my license. Then I needed both of them to change my passport.

Growing up Clangley said...

Everyone calls us the Clangleys which always makes me laugh. I wish we had a nice combo name. We are going back and forth on what this next kids last name will be and wish we all had the same one. Congratulations on making thru the bureacracy and the rediculous laws to get this done.

Rachel said...

Such a silly hassle but I'm so glad you are getting it done. We had to do all of that a few years ago to legally changed my husband's name to the name he goes by since he 'just wasn't ready' on the day his naturalization papers came though, and now we're about to do it all over again to give the fusspot a middle name since we had none when she was born ... lovely waiting rooms downtown, eh?

Laurie said...

Congrats! This is dejavu of when we combined and changed our last names! You'll be surprised how many different companies want the paperwork (like PayPal!?!) to change your name and how many will just take your word for it over the phone. But it is definitely all worth it! :)

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

Glad to hear it worked out in the end and what great luck to get a lesbian judge! I know it's NY but you still never know, and it's much better to work w/ someone who is happy for you rather than someone who is rolling his/her eyes about it.

One more big thing checked off the list!

Inlocoparentis said...

Congrats. I just changed my name a few months ago to DP's name. Here's a tip - make sure to buy at least 4 certified copies each, because everyone wants an original and some of the agencies want you to send it to them by mail.

Libberal said...

I really want to guess what the combined name is, but how the hell can I beat Pissanucker in hilarity factor? Too funny. Whatever your new name is, congrats on getting the process started and kudos to your kids, who someday will laugh along with you to the various would-be combinations of your last names.

tbean said...

Yay on the name change being nearly complete! Pissanucker. He he he. That made me laugh. Sounds about as good and me and the wife's names combined, in ANY direction. :)

poppycat.wordpress.com said...

What a crazy fiasco but almost everything legal in that city is.

Woohoo on the newly legal last name! I hope you are keeping a copy of that public notice for your memory box.

poppycat.wordpress.com said...

What a crazy fiasco but almost everything legal in that city is.

Woohoo on the newly legal last name! I hope you are keeping a copy of that public notice for your memory box.