Anyone who chooses a double name should no longer be forced to insert a hyphen. The draft for the new naming law, which Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) sent to the other departments of the Federal Government for approval on Friday, provides for these and other changes. If the reform comes into force in the version envisaged by his ministry, it would be up to the spouses from 2025 whether they want to put their names in a row with or without a hyphen.

After the marriage, Mr. Schmitz and Mrs. Koppe could both be called Schmitz-Koppe, Schmitz Koppe, Koppe Schmitz or Koppe-Schmitz. The possibility that both are only called Koppe or only Schmitz remains, as does the variant that everyone keeps their surname and no common surname is defined. If a couple decides on a double name as their married name, their children will also have it.

The draft, which is available to the German Press Agency, also stipulates that it will not be possible to string together any number of names. If Manfred Schmitz Koppe marries a Marina Müller-Lüdenscheid, they should be able to form a new double name from each part of the name, for example Schmitz-Lüdenscheid or Müller Koppe. However, there may not be more than two parts of the name.

The Federal Ministry of Justice does not take up the idea of ​​merging two names, for example making the name Koppscheid out of Koppe and Lüdenscheid, in its draft. This proposal came from the ranks of the Greens.

The draft gives adults who choose to adopt the option to keep their surname, either exclusively or in addition to the surname of the person adopting them.

In the event of the parents’ divorce, if the child lives with a parent who adopts his maiden name again, it should also be made the child’s surname. The consent of the other parent is required for this if the child has previously been bearing his or her name or if both parents have joint parental responsibility. However, the family court can replace the consent of the other parent if this is necessary for the best interests of the child. If the child has reached the age of five, they must also consent themselves.