-Change my last name
-File Green Card paperwork
-Get ready for filing joint taxes
None of these things are a joke. Put them together and my brain shuts down. The one bright spot in all of this is that we've been able to find some professionals to provide us with legit advice and subsequently help me cross #2 off of the list.
Obviously, there are a lot of opinions and emotions surrounding the name change question. Are you going to keep your last name or change it to your spouse's? Will you hyphenate? Are you giving up your identity if you do change it? If you don't change it, what last name will you give your hypothetical children? Just check out the comments on this post from one of my favorite blogs to get a taste of the debate.
I did some research and listened to some of the opinions out there but, if I'm being honest? I knew pretty early on in our engagement that I was going to change my name and I didn't have a problem with it. I never felt like I was giving anything up. If anything, I was gaining access to something. Conor and I were going to start a new family together and I liked the idea of having a name that I chose to go along with it. As far as the logistics, I knew a couple of people that used the MissnowMrs service and really liked it. For about $30 you input your personal information and they prefill all the forms you need. I have yet to print them all and file but I'm getting there soon.
The reason for the hurry? The sooner I change my name, the sooner we can file all of the Green Card paperwork. Having the same last name will be one more point in our favor when we go through the process. You know, to prove that it isn't a sham marriage. That's actually something that we're going to have to convince someone of. Sheesh. Thankfully, we found a free legal clinic in Southie which walked us through the paperwork and answered all my nervous, policeman's daughter and I don't break rules questions. Believe me, it's more complicated that Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell make it out to be.
The last, and arguably most amusing, part of the whole thing will be filing our taxes. We met with an accountant last night. While he was just a lovely person, no one wants to hear about the possibility of having to pay thousands of dollars in April. I'm not going to get into it (she says as she writes the longest post ever) because talking about money is crass and it makes me anxious but, since Conor is self-employed, he gets extra beat up when joining the rest of us tax-paying schmoes. There may be a lot of ramen noodles in our future.