If a separated woman wishes to change her surname it is not necessary to wait for the decree absolute. She has the right to change her name at any time and this is quickly and simply done by Deed Poll. This will not affect any divorce proceedings that have already started as long as everyone involved is notified of the name change.
If there are children of the marriage their name may also be changed by Deed Poll providing the consent of all parties with parental responsibility is obtained. It should be noted that there are very few circumstances where a birth certificate can be changed, but a Deed Poll and original birth certificate is sufficient to prove identity.
A divorced woman may revert to her maiden name without the need for a Deed Poll if government departments, organisations, etc will accept a decree absolute and birth certificate as proof. Some banks will not accept these and therefore a Deed Poll will be necessary.
A woman who has been widowed can revert to her maiden name should she so wish without the need for a Deed Poll. Her marriage certificate showing her maiden name and her husband’s death certificate are usually accepted as documentary proof. Should this not be the case, especially where financial matters are involved, then a Deed Poll is required.
Contact us if you would like to change your surname, so we can guide you through the process. I’d be happy to help if you have any questions about this – please get in touch. Call 01202 499255 for a free initial appointment with me or a member of our Family Team.