If you’re a woman who took her husband’s name when getting married, it’s likely that you will want to revert to your maiden name following a divorce. There are a couple of ways you can change your name after divorce. Here’s how…
1. Instruct a divorce lawyer
If you want to formally switch your name at any time during divorce proceedings, you can. Holland Family Law’s divorce lawyer team can draw up a change of name deed and you don’t have to wait for the Decree Absolute.
When instructing Holland Family Law to help with your name change, we will take your instructions, prepare the change of name deed and arrange for it to be executed. We will then provide you with the original name change document and some certified copies, which you will need to prove your name change status.
2. Changing your name by deed poll
Changing your name by deed poll can be done at any time – unless you’re doing it for illegal reasons. A change of name by deed poll means that divorce laws have no say in the matter.
There are two types of deed poll:
- An unenrolled deed poll
- An enrolled deed poll
The difference between the two is that an enrolled deed poll means you’re putting your new name on public record.
However, changing your name by deed poll can be quite bureaucratic. Women who have opted to change their name by deed poll following their divorce have described the process as ‘unpleasant.’
Deciding to change your name
If you decide on a name change after divorce, you will need to inform a number of companies and authorities of your new status. For example, if you have a driving licence, you will need to inform the DVLA, if you have a passport, you will need to get it updated.
Most authorities will ask for a deed poll as proof of your name change because you’re requesting amendments to official documents.
Whether you instruct a divorce lawyer to help you, or revert to another name by deed poll, it’s important to let the relevant companies and authorities know as a means of protecting your credit rating, as it will prevent your former spouse from entering into joint credit agreements, which you could be liable for if your ex-spouse defaults on payments.
However, be aware that changing your name does not exempt you from responsibility on any joint credit agreements in place prior to your divorce.