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Home » Advice Centre » How to Change Your Name After a Divorce

How to Change Your Name After a Divorce

Posted on: 13 March 2024 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

The breakdown of a marriage brings many challenges, and changing your name after a divorce is just one of them.

While it might not be your primary focus, for many people changing their name following a divorce is an extremely personal and important choice after a difficult time, but the process can be overwhelming if you don’t know how it works. 

 If you’re looking to change your surname after a divorce or are simply looking for some advice on what to do, Goodwins Family Law Solicitors are here to help. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to legally change your name after a divorce, outlining everything you need to know about the process. 

Do I have to change my name after a divorce?

A change of name after divorce tends to impact women who have taken on their former husband’s surname as their married name.  As well as this, people may choose to double barrel surnames upon marriage and then wish to revert back to their previous name after a divorce or separation. 

However, while many people choose to do so, it is not necessary to change your name after a divorce. In fact, many people opt to keep their married name and there is no legal obligation to change it back. 

There are a whole host of reasons why people may decide to keep their married name including:

  • To keep the same name as their children
  • People may have established themselves within their career with their married name
  • Their married name may be part of their identity 
  • People may not want the hassle of changing their name back

While you do not have to change your name after a divorce, many people choose to do so. This is because they want to revert to their maiden name and it also symbolises a fresh start and new chapter in someone’s life. 

How to Change Your Name After a Divorce

How to revert to my maiden name?

Usually, divorcees can revert back to their maiden name fairly easily. 

In the same way that your name was changed when you got married, the process is pretty similar and will simply require you to provide some paperwork when changing your name on official documents such as passports and driving licences.

The documents you’ll need include:

  • A birth certificate
  • A marriage certificate
  • Your final divorce order
  • A signed statement that outlines your intention to revert back to your maiden name ‘for all purposes’

However, if you do not have any of the above for any reason, the process is slightly different and will require a change of name deeds.

How to change my name by deed poll?

If your documents are rejected, you’ve lost them, they’re in a foreign language or you do not have access to them for any other reason, you will need a deed poll name change.

Anyone can change their name by deed poll to anything they like (within reason) at any time, and the process can also be used to change your name back after a divorce. 

Usually, the process will involve obtaining an ‘unenrolled’ deed poll, otherwise known as a change of name deed. Essentially, this is a legal document that allows a name to be changed. It will need to be signed in the old and new name, as well as by a witness. 

However, some organisations, such as banks, will only accept an ‘enrolled’ deed poll as evidence that a name has been changed. In these instances, you will need to apply in writing to the Royal Courts of Justice. This process will also require the following accompanying documentation:

  • Change of name deed for an adult form
  • Statutory declaration for an adult 
  • A notice for the London Gazette (an official government journal)

When changing your name by deed poll, it is recommended that you get assistance from qualified family lawyers as the process can be tricky. At Goodwins Family Law Solicitors, we offer a leading change of name deeds service which can guide you through the process. 

Who do I need to inform of a name change?

No matter what method of changing your name you use, there are a number of organisations you must inform whenever a name has been changed. 

This includes:

  • Banks
  • The passport office
  • HMRC
  • DVLA
  • Your employer 
  • Your pension provider
  • Student loan companies 
  • Your mortgage provider 
  • Utility providers
  • Broadband and television providers 
  • The electoral roll
  • The local authority
  • Doctors, dentists and healthcare providers
  • The police (if you have a criminal record)

At Goodwins Family Law Solicitors, we support families across London with expert advice on a whole range of legal matters, including change of names. To find out more about how we can help you, get in touch today.

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