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December 1, 2009

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(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!