C. Change of Name

Author:Julien D. Payne - Marilyn A. Payne

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It has been traditional for the bride to take the surname of the bridegroom after their marriage. This tradition is based on convention and is not a legal

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requirement. In the absence of any statutory provision to the contrary, any person may assume the surname of his or her choice, provided that its use is not calculated to deceive or inflict pecuniary loss. A bride is, therefore, free to retain her birth name in preference to adopting her husband’s surname or they may agree on some hybrid form of their joint names. When persons marry and give birth to children, however, statutory restrictions are often imposed that restrict their ability to change their surnames at will. In Canada, such legislation is found in provincial and territorial Change of Name Acts. These statutes sometimes require applications for a change of family surname to be made through the courts. The current trend of legislation, as...

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