Married or Maiden Name

(One for the girls)

Traditionally when a woman gets married to a man, they change their surname to his. When a woman marries another woman, they often use one of their surnames. When a woman divorces, do they have to stick to their married name or do they automatically revert to their maiden name? Can they keep their married name is they choose? It does seem a bit of a minefield.

What name do you want to use?

If you would like to stick with your married name, that's absolutely fine. There are many reasons for wanting to do this:

  • Being well known professionally by your married name,
  • Wanting to keep the same surname as your children,
  • Just preferring your married name.

You might feel that you should use Ms rather than Mrs, but actually either is perfectly acceptable.

However, if you would prefer to use your maiden name, there is a little more work to do. To change your ID and bank accounts, you need to provide your decree absolute and your marriage certificate. You could change your name by deed poll, if you prefer.

Passport and Driving Licence

You are legally allowed to use your passport after you change your name until it expires. Remember to book tickets in the same name as your passport though!

On the other hand, your driving licence needs to be amended straight away. It costs nothing. You will need to complete a D1 form. However, if you don't let the DVLA know, they could fine you £100.

Why am I being charged to change my name?

Quite simply, you shouldn't be. You can change your name with banks, doctors, TV licensing, employers, etc without paying a penny. You can even change your name at the land registry yourself, without the charges a lawyer may make.

I found some great advice on everything to do with name changing in this article.

If you have enjoyed this blog, you may also find "Weekends away from the children" useful.

Tamsin Caine is a Chartered Financial Planner at Smart Divorce. She specialises in working with separating or divorcing clients to help them to understand how to divide their finances to move forward with their lives. If you would like to speak to Tamsin or find out more about how she can help, email her at or call her on 07975 922766.



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