Changing your name after divorce By Lauren Sutton

If you are planning on getting a divorce, you might have questions about changing your name back to your maiden name. This is certainly possible and done quite frequently but there is a legal process that you will need to follow.
Choices

When you get a divorce, you have the option to change your name back but you can also opt to keep your existing married name. For some people, it is a decision they have already made long before the divorce has been finalised as they could be particularly keen to revert back to their old name. Of course, it can largely depend on the reasons why the divorce is occurring, but it is a very personal choice.

Some people just cannot be bothered with the hassle involved in changing their name back and so choose to just stick with what they already have. This saves them from having to change their personal details with several organisations including banks, doctor’s surgeries, the DVLA and work.

Processes

If you do decide to change your name back, you will need to do it either by Deed Poll or by using your decree absolute and your marriage certificate. The organisation that is processing the change will determine what documentation you need so it’s worth bearing in mind that some places will not accept the decree absolute and will require a Deed Poll.

It may be worth seeking out divorce solicitors to ensure you follow the right process when it comes to changing your name. You are more than likely already going to be dealing with them throughout the divorce process anyway so it might be beneficial to sort out the name change at the same time.

Children

Although you might be keen to change your name, it is not such a simple decision when it comes to your children. Your ex-husband has parental responsibility as well as you so any name changes need to be agreed by the two of you. It could be the case that while you revert your name back, your children have their names double-barrelled, in an attempt to placate both you and your ex-husband.

Title

When you revert your name back to its maiden name, you also have the option to change your title. While you can remain being Mrs, you can also change it to either Miss or Ms. This can be done at the same time as the surname change to make things a little easier for you.

It is worth having copies of all the documentation you are likely to need for the name change. Your marriage certificate, your decree absolute and also any identification you have with your current name on will probably be needed at some point. As an example, if you change your name and need to let the DVLA know, you’ll need both the paper and photo card parts of your licence so be prepared and get all of this ready as soon as you know you want to change your name; it is likely to save you a considerable amount of time further along the line.

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