Deciding on a change of name after divorce.
After getting divorced, many women decide that – after doing the traditional thing and taking their husband’s name – they don’t want to keep it. Luckily, a change of name after divorce isn’t that hard to arrange.
You have a couple of easy options – and no one is forcing you to decide either way. Changing your name after divorce is entirely optional. Here is everything you need to know:
Can I Keep My Narried Name After Divorce?
Yes, you absolutely can decide that changing your name after divorce isn’t for you. There are many reasons why a large number of women choose to keep their married name. They include:
- Family ties – this is often so that children will share the same surname. This has the extra advantage of ease when dealing with doctors or travelling together, for example.
- Continuity – if you have been married for a long time, you may have become used to your married name and might also be known by it professionally.
- Preference – you might simply have come to prefer your married name! If you like the sound of it, no one can make you give it up.
The process for keeping your married name is easy. There is a clear question during the divorce application process that asks you whether you want to change back to your maiden name. Simply say that no, you want to keep your married name.
Do I Have To Change My Name After Divorce?
No, it is completely up to you whether you want to change your name after you get divorced. However, there are a few common reasons why many women do decide on a name change after divorce. These include:
- Getting a fresh start in life in general
- Starting new relationships more as “yourself”
- Putting a bad relationship behind you
How Do I Revert Back To My Maiden Name After Divorce?
There are two methods you can use to change back to your maiden name after divorce:
1) Change Your Name On Official Documents Manually
The place to start is your passport. You can then use this to prove to other institutions that you have reverted to using your former name.
To do this, navigate to the gov.uk website and find the page that covers divorce or returning to a previous surname on your passport. You will need a number of documents to complete the process:
- Your birth certificate
- Your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate (this must show both names)
- Your decree absolute (the final order that completes the divorce process – this should also show both names)
- A signed statement saying you are going back to using a previous surname “for all purposes”
- A document showing you using your new name (a utility bill or payslip are common examples)
In fact, you can change almost any official document if you gather all of the proof listed above. The passport is simply the easiest place to begin. It is worth remembering that there is a fee for updating your passport though. You might want to wait until it needs renewing to avoid multiple fees.
After that, it makes sense to proceed to notify:
- The DVLA to update your driving license (this may also have fees attached)
- Your bank, building society, and/ or credit card company
- Your employer and the Inland Revenue
- Utility companies, insurers, telecoms companies, and mortgage and pension providers
- Doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers
2) Use A Deed Poll
Though the method above is fairly simple, it can get repetitive. You may also not have access to all of the required documents – or wish to change your name to something other than your maiden name.
For all of these reasons and more, using a deed poll is often considered the easiest choice to revert your name to your original surname after divorce. You are allowed to change your name using a deed poll in the UK at your discretion.
Changing your name by deed poll is simple. You can do it yourself via the gov.uk website if you have a couple of witnesses. You may need to pay a fee as part of this process in order to enrol your new name at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The other alternative is to use a specialist family law solicitor to take care of it for you. If you want to consider this option, Solicitors Near Me can put you in touch with a friendly and helpful family solicitor for FREE and with no obligation.