2009-09-06

There are only two hard problems in Austrian family law:

Caching and naming things.

Well, maybe not caching. But if two people are getting married in Austria, they do have to solve the other hard problem. That is, one partner gets to keep their name, and the other partner has to decide what to do:

  • Take on the partner’s name (it’s expected that the female partner does this),
  • keep one’s old name,
  • or prepend or append one’s own name to the partner’s name.

In the latter two cases, Austrian family law introduces a “family name” that is one of the two partners’ original names, which is what they pass on to their children. This makes both options a non-solution: You get your pie, but something else gets eaten: Possibly your sanity.

So, if partners “Fuchs” and “Liewald” were to get married and wanted to use the (wonderfully punny) “Liewald-Fuchs” as both partners’ name and the name that their children get, they would be out of luck. Or so it would seem.

It turns out there might be a way to pull this off. A person who recently got a bit of media attention bearing the last name of “Hollunder-Hollunder” has done this already (but with slightly different starting parameters and a different goal):

  1. Get married, prepend/append names such that one partner has the desired combination of names,
  2. divorce, arrange that both partners keep the new names,
  3. get married again, and have the other partner take on the desired name.

One divorce costs €500, the legal cost for a marriage certificate after a divorce is €70. Might just be worth it (-:

Categories:   Hacks