Changing back to your maiden name after separation or divorce
Danielle Hadida, Lawyer | 10 August 2018
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.
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
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.
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