Most divorced women decide to retain their married name. They may have had that surname for a very long time, have children or don’t see any need to considering changing it.
However, for some women it is important to them to revert back to their maiden name once they are divorced, to help them move on with the new independent life.
Here is my advice on what to think about and how you can do it…
What to consider beforehand
There are several things I advise my clients to consider before they make the decision to change their name:
1. You will have a different surname to your children. If you have young or teenage children, a change in your surname may risk causing further upset about the divorce of their parents.
2. You should also be aware that if you have children under the age of 16, then the other parent must give his or her written consent should you want to change the children’s name as well.
3. Having a different surname to your children may mean that when you travel abroad with children under the age of 18, you may be asked questions about your relationship with the children and whether you have the consent of the other parent. (There are ways to alleviate this problem, which is a topic for another blog).
How to change your name
There are several ways of doing this:
1. Calling yourself by your maiden name
There is no requirement for a legal document to be produced to prove a change of name on bank accounts, passport and driving license. Providing your Decree Absolute certificate and a copy of your marriage certificate should be sufficient.
2. Change of Name Deed
This isn’t as readily available as it used to be but some solicitors still offer to create a Change of Name Deed which you can then use as proof of your change of name. (One of my clients wished to proceed on this basis even knowing the other options as she wanted a formal legal document created by a solicitor).
3. Deed Poll
You can change your name by Deed Poll by completing the relevant application form and paying the fee. Please click on the following link for more information:
What to do afterwards
As well as telling people to start referring to you by your new name, you will also need to have important documentation changed to reflect the change of name;
- Driving license
- Bank account details
- Your records with your doctor, dentist, employers, HMRC etc.
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you’ll find lots more in my eBooks, which you can purchase and download today.