Changing My Name–For Real This Time

26 Sep

It’s official. We’re married.

For the past year, I’ve been Cathy James. But all of my documents state otherwise – Cathy McNally. Or Margaret Catherine McNally, as that’s my full name.

No wonder I have serious persona issues.

I finally got my act together last week and ordered our Marriage Certificate through the province last week. This is needed in order to assume Jamally’s name, and legally change my documentation.

The official piece of paper arrived in the mail today!



My goal was to order this within our first year of marriage. I ordered it Sept. 20, 2011. Two days following our first anniversary.

But when it’s marriage for life, really, what’s another two days. Am I right?!

Now that both the Church and State have declared us hitched, I can go ahead and change my documentation.

That overwhelms me. Where do you start? What happens when for the in-between phase? Where are these answers?

So I Googled. A lot.

“Changing licence name, Ontario”

“Changing SIN, Ontario”

“How to change your married name, checklist”

The last one proved most helpful. has a full, Canadianized checklist to help me get the job done.

First stop? Change my Employment Records.

That’s easy.

“Tux, I’m changing my name! Write it down.”




No wonder I feel like no one is listening.

Wish me luck!

Today’s Question: When you got married, did you change your name? Or, would you change your name?


8 Responses to “Changing My Name–For Real This Time”

  1. Madeline September 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Yes, name change was a necessity! Why would someone keep the name “Hill” when one could carry “Bouvier” as a handle?!!

  2. Jill September 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    When you ordered Tux to make note of the name change, his reaction in the picture made me laugh out loud. He’s an awesome coworker! 🙂

    I decided not to take my husband’s last name, but my sister said it was easy to do when she changed hers. I have a coworker who said it was easy out in the “real world” but ridiculously complicated for our employer to grasp her name change (I don’t think you’ll have this problem — see Tux’s picture).

    Do you feel more married now? More adult now? Less like Cathy? Do you miss “Cathy James?” Just wondering how it feels. 🙂

    • Cat's Cove Writing Services September 27, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      I actually never thought I would change my name! But I changed my mind, and from day one, I assumed “Cathy James”, so jumping in right away with the name change helped. The only part that worried me was when I launched my own business this year, and wondered if anyone in the community would know me, based on the new name. But I haven’t noticed any difference. It’s been kind of fun to change the name. except when people call me Mrs. James. I do miss my maiden name at times, because I’m proud of our Irish heritage, but at the same time, I love that I share the same name as Jamally. And Tux, too! 🙂 How come you decided not to change your name?

      • Jill September 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

        I realized afterwards that your married name is “Cathy James.” Your (full) maiden name reminds me of Mary Catherine Gallagher from SNL (which is awesome). 🙂

        I have thought about changing my name, but I am afraid of losing my identity, to be honest. Also, as much as I love my husband, I worry that if we ever divorce, it would be painful changing my name back (in the midst of an already-painful situation).

        There’s something very romantic about sharing a last name with someone you love, but I am almost too afraid to trust in “forever,” as sad as that likely sounds.

        Do you ever worry about things not working out? (I hope that’s not too personal.)

      • Cat's Cove Writing Services October 11, 2011 at 7:29 am #

        Sometimes, when I get really nervous….
        Jamally and I always joke about how we’ll be married for 5-7 years – the average length of a marriage. Do I plan on getting divorced? No. But am I naive? No. I know things happen in marriages, but I didn’t not want to change my name based on “what if’s”. And worst case scenario, if we do split, at least I’ll still share the name with my children! And his second wife, too! Just kidding. I always thought I’d keep my name, but as soon as we got engaged, I thought it was a meaningful gesture to demonstrate how we’re united.

  3. Lianne September 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I changed my name and most documentation….except the good ol’ red and white health card ! I don’t want to have to keep updating my health card so when it comes r

    • Cat's Cove Writing Services September 27, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      Good idea! I still have my red and white health card with my signature from Grade 2! It looks like I was drunk when I signed it. Did you have to change your SIN number?

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