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Changing back to your maiden name after separation or divorce


Danielle Hadida, Lawyer | 10 August 2018

Changing back to your maiden name after separation or divorce - stock photo source: Bigstock.com

Although there is no legal requirement to do so

many separated or divorced women revert to using their maiden name...

Although there is no legal requirement to do so, many separated or divorced women revert to using their maiden name. This is entirely a personal choice – as there is no legal requirement your Husband cannot make you stop using his surname if you wish to continue to do so after your separation. A Wife will often retain the Husband's surname especially if the children also have that surname.

Changing your name is of course a separate issue to changing the names of your children. If you and your former partner do not agree to change your children's names then an application will need to be made to the Family Court.

But I never formally changed my name?

Often at marriage, women do not formally register with the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages that they have taken on their Husband's surname. Generally, a copy of the Marriage Certificate is taken to the relevant institutions (such as your bank, insurance or employer) and the Wife indicates that she will now be going by her Husband's surname.

If this is the case, it is relatively simple to go back to using your maiden name. You simply need to take with you a copy of the Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate and, if applicable, the Divorce Order to the relevant institutions and inform them that you are reverting to your maiden name.



Changing back to your maiden name after separation or divorce - stock photo source: Bigstock.com


I registered my change of name when I got married, now what do I do?

If at the time of marriage or afterwards the Wife formally registered her change of name with the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages she will then need to again file an application to change her surname back to her maiden name. This requires the completion of an application form and the production of the necessary identification documents

Where do I have to change my name?

Changing your name can be a lengthy process as you will need to notify all institutions of your change of name and order new copies of all documentation. Examples of these changes include:

1. The Australian Electoral Commission;

2. Your bank;

3. Your insurance companies;

4. The Department of Transport;

5. Utility companies;

6. Your employer;

7. Your passport;

8. Your superannuation fund; and

9. Medicare.


Danielle Hadida

Danielle Hadida is a family lawyer at Kott Gunning Lawyers in Perth, Western Australia. Danielle has experience in all aspects of family law and is particularly interested in parenting matters and assisting victims of family violence.


go to the Single Mum Facebook Support Group - stock photo source: Canva.com





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What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

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