Can I keep my Married name when I get Divorced?

By October 26, 2017
2 directions-name change

Can I keep my Married name when I get Divorced?

Many automatically want to change their name back to their original maiden name when getting a divorce. However, not everyone does and by law, you actually do not have to.

You are Legally entitled to keep your married name and there is nothing that your husband can do about it.

There are many reasons why a woman may want to keep her married name.

Here are just a few:

  • She may not like her maiden name
  • It’s a hassle to change it back
  • Many would like to keep the same surname as their children
  • Business reasons
  • Some do not want to let go of their former life.
  • Consistency

Whatever the reason, you can keep your married name; it is your legal right.

Can my husband force me to change my name?

The answer is no. There is nothing that your husband can possibly do to legally make you change your name. He can plea but unfortunately for him, that’s as far as it can go.

How do I keep my married name?

If you want to keep your married name then you have to say so in your divorce application. There will be a question that asks you whether you would like to keep your married name or retain your previous/maiden name.

Ensure you fill out this section correctly and state your intentions of keeping it.

There is nothing else that you legally need to do once you have stated that you will be keeping your married name. Once the divorce has been finalised you will still have your spouse’s last name.

You will not need to notify anyone like your bank, schools, DVLA etc. that you will be keeping your last name. But you may need to notify them of an address change if applicable.

Wish to change your name at a later date?

Don’t worry, just because you have decided to keep your married name, for now, does not mean you will have to keep it forever. At a later date, you are free to change your name by deed poll.

Don’t want to keep your married name?

That’s also not an issue. You have the right to change your last name to your previous or maiden name after your divorce.

There are two ways you can change your ID and bank accounts back to your maiden name after a divorce.

You can either show your decree absolute and your marriage certificate or change your name by deed poll and present this document instead.

Changing your name back can be an expensive process so where possible its best to leave certain documents until they expire. It’s fully legal to keep your passport in your married name until it expires.

However, unlike your passport your driving license has to be changed immediately- this is a free process so there is no reason not to. If you do not change your name immediately then you can be fined up to £100.

It’s also free to change your name with your bank, schools, insurance, utility companies etc. So ensure you change these immediately.

Need help getting started with your divorce?

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