Changing Your Name Upon Marriage

By in Legal Requirements, Wedding Articles | 3 comments

Introduction

When a woman marries, she is faced with having to make a decision about her name. That is, should she change her maiden name (her surname before marriage) and if so, to what. This article explains a woman’s legal options upon marriage and offers alternative solutions to women who do not wish to follow the tradition of taking their future husband’s surname.

A Woman’s Legal Rights Upon Marriage

There is no legal requirement for a woman to change her surname when she gets married. It is purely her own personal choice, although by tradition it is generally expected. Upon marriage, there are two automatic legal options available to the woman only (a man has no legal right to change his name): A woman can either continue to use her maiden name or she can change her maiden name to her husband’s surname. If a woman decides to take her husband’s surname, the marriage certificate provides the necessary documentary evidence that she has changed her name.

The Traditional Option

Changing your maiden name to your husband’s surname is the traditional and simplest option. It is still, by far, the most preferred option of today’s brides. With both parties using the same surname, life is made considerably easier and less confusing to others when making joint financial, legal and social arrangements. This is particularly relevant when children are involved.

After your marriage, you simply send your marriage certificate to all the numerous government departments, companies and organisations that you deal with so they can amend your records (see Who To Advise When You Change Your Name).

If you decide to keep with tradition, the following example demonstrates the various forms of address: If your maiden name is Susan Brown and you marry Michael Smith, you will be formally known as Susan Smith or Mrs. Michael Smith although in common usage you will find that you will usually be addressed (incorrectly) as Mrs. Susan Smith – which is how a divorced woman would address herself as. Together, you will be formally addressed as Mr. and Mrs. Michael Smith.

Continuing To Use Your Maiden Name

If you decide to continue using your maiden name after marriage, the established convention is to replace the title Miss by Ms. (pronounced miz). This option has become increasingly popular for business and professional women, especially if they have an established name in their business or profession, since continuity of the woman’s name is maintained. However, many women using Ms. for this reason, will have taken their husband’s surname for their legal name for all matters outside the workplace.

If you decide to continue using your maiden name and, for example, your name is Susan Brown and you marry Michael Smith, you will be known as Ms. Susan Brown. However, any reference to your husband’s Christian or surname when using Ms. should not be used.

Unrelated to marriage, many women also use the title Ms. if they feel that information about their marital status is not relevant in their business or personal life. The use of Ms. in this instance is simply equivalent to the male title of Mr.

Changing The Man’s Name

There is of course no reason why your husband should not change his name to your maiden name upon marriage. If you plan on doing this, you simply continue using your maiden name after marriage. However, your husband will need to take additional steps to change his name.

Most simply, your husband can just start using his new name after your marriage. However, if he wishes to get all his records and documents changed without any problems or delays (for example, his passport and records such as income tax, national insurance, bank and building society accounts), he should execute a change of name by Deed Poll (see footnote below).

Hyphenated (Double Barrelled) Names

It is also becoming increasingly popular for couples to take each other’s surname after marriage. For example, if Michael Smith marries Susan Brown, they may wish to be know as Michael and Susan Smith-Brown (or Brown-Smith). Formally, the couple will be addressed as Mr. and Mrs. Michael Smith-Brown (the use of a hyphen between the combined surnames is optional).

If you decide upon this option and you both wish to have all your records and documents changed, you should both arrange to have your names changed by Deed Poll after your marriage. This will ensure that there are no delays or problems in getting all of your documents and records changed.

To save on the small additional expense of a combined Deed Poll, your future husband should change his name to the hyphenated name before you get married. Consequently, you will then automatically take his new hyphenated surname upon marriage. You should change your names in this way if you wish to get your passports changed in advance of your marriage, enabling you to travel on your overseas honeymoon using your new hyphenated name. Ideally, your future husband should change his name by Deed Poll at least two months before your marriage so that enough time is allowed for the issue of your new passports. Please read the section below on changing your name in your passport.

Using Your Maiden Name As A Middle Name

If you propose taking your husband’s surname upon marriage but still wish to have your maiden name incorporated in your new name, you could consider having your maiden name as a middle name. This option is used in many countries throughout the world and overcomes any feelings of pretentiousness you may have about using a hyphenated name.

Again, if you wish to have all your records and documents changed, you need to change you name by Deed Poll after your marriage.

If you are a non-UK citizen who is getting married in the UK and you are taking your husband’s surname but wish to use your maiden name as your middle name, you should take legal advice to see if your own country will accept a Deed Poll as evidence of a change of name.

Who To Advise When You Change Your Name

Whatever name you choose to use after your marriage, there are numerous organisations and companies that need to be advised. Also, if you are setting up a new home after your marriage, you will also need to advise them of your new address.

We have a separate article titled Who To Advise When You Change Your Name, which lists the usual organisations and companies you need to contact when you change your name. The article also has a specimen letter, which you may find useful.

Changing Your Name In Your Passport

Changing your passport to show your new name is worthy of a separate mention since it is the one document a woman can get changed before getting married. This is to allow you to travel on your overseas honeymoon using your new name. However, your new passport will not be valid until the date of your marriage. Please read our article on changing your passport for further information.

Footnote

Although we refer to Deed Poll, we also mean Statutory Declaration, which is another method of changing your name. To change your name by Statutory Declaration, it is usual to have the document drafted and sworn before a solicitor. Since changing your name by Deed Poll is simpler and much more convenient (it can be done online from our website) we have ignored any reference to it. If you require further information about changing your name by Statutory Declaration, you should speak to a solicitor or contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureaux. [back]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

    3 Comments

  1. am naevia I will love to share my testimony with all my viewers because I never thought I would have another chance with my husband, the man I so much love, he left me for another woman, and when I called him, he never picked my calls, he deleted me on his face book account and then set the status to having a lady with the other chick. I was devastated. I went to three spell casters before I met Dr jujuman. Who help me get all my lost hope. I lost a lot of money with them and got no results. So when I came to Dr jujuman, I was really leery of him and didn’t think he could help me. I though it is too good to be true, because all the other spell casters were supposedly good and none of them helped me. I saw the testimonials and read the other testimonials and decided to get the consultation. He said he could help me, but my chances of getting my ex were very low and he didn’t recommend it at all. But I insisted that he at least give me the chance to work with him and try and if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t be upset and I would move on with my life. He agreed. Since he is in jersey and am in need, I decided I would go in person to have my spells cast. He is a really sweet and gentle man, when I met him I was really surprised. He looks very young, and I had my doubts whether or not he would be able to help me. But I figured I came all that way and I said I would try so I tried it. He called a spirit to talk with me and do the work, it was a woman spirit and when it came it totally transformed Dr’s face. That is when I thought to myself that it might just work. The spirit gave me some advice and did the spells. I had a separation spell and a reunion spell done. The spirit said it would take a while for my ex to leave his new girl but once he did, he would come to me very quickly. She gave me some things to take home and do. I did them, but I was really nervous. I think I messed up a few times and I told her and she said just keep going and I would be fine. So I did. It was like 6 or 7 weeks later and I saw that my ex unblocked me from facebook. I saw he had changed his status again to single. So I was super excited because I took this to mean that he had split up with the other girl. About 10,days after that my ex called me. At first, it was weird between us. He wanted to see me. So I went to meet up with him. He didn’t ask me back then. I got very anxious and told t, and she said to stay calm and everything would turn out okay. So I did the best I could although I was still worried. We met up a few more times after that, and still he didn’t ask me back out. So I got a consultation with hector and he said to expect my ex to ask me back out within two weeks from the consultation. I listened, but I wasn’t sure it would happen. Then it was almost 2 weeks later, and I though, damn, hector was wrong. But the next day (there was like 2 days left from it being 2 weeks) my ex called and we got together. He asked me if I would be willing to try our relationship again, which of course I said yes. That was about 3 weeks ago, and so far we have been doing okay, we still have a lot of things to work out, but I am very happy. dr jujuman is the real deal and I am so glad that I found him and I recommend him to anyone who needs help. Thank you so much Doctor you saved my life!
    Reply? You can as we contact him for your help email jujumanlovespell@gmail.com

    naevia

    October 14, 2013

  2. I am a widow planning to re-marry. I should like to keep my name as it is above,my “married” name, and add my new husband’s surname without a hyphen. How do I go about doing this? This scenario is not mentioned in your article.

    joan elizabeth landon

    May 6, 2014

  3. My name is Rebecca Miller I’m from united state, i have been married for 4 years and i have a break up with my husband 3 months ago and i was worried and so confuse because i love him so much. i was really going too depressed and a friend directed me to this spell caster Dr. Laco and i made all my problems known to him and he told me not to worry that he was going to make my husband to come back to me and in just 48hours i receive a call from my husband and he was appealing that i should come back to the house. i have never in my life believe in spell and but now it have just helped me and i am now so happy. All Thanks to him and if you also want to have your Husband back to yourself here !! his emailAddress(lacopowerfulspellcaster@yahoo.com) i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness

    Rebecca Miller

    June 19, 2014

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current month ye@r day *