How do I change back to my maiden name after divorce?

Whether you decide to revert back to using your maiden name after divorce is a highly personal decision. There is no right or wrong answer, but careful consideration can help you make the right decision for you and your family.


Reasons for changing your name

Divorce can be traumatic and reverting to your Maiden name can feel like a fresh start. It can help you feel like you’re moving on from the past and give you a new identity and greater sense of freedom. Once you are back dating, using your pre-marriage name can also help you to develop new relationships without the burden of your past one.


Reasons for not changing your name

Alternatively, some people prefer to keep their married name for reasons which include keeping the same surname as their children. This can make travelling together and dealing with schools, doctors and organisations easier. Also, if you have been married for a long time, both in your social circle and professional life, it can be easier to keep the name that most people know you by.


Changing your title

To revert from Mrs to Ms, or any other title, there is no legal requirement to change anything. Simply start using your preferred title on official documents.


How to revert back to your maiden name

Just as you changed your name when you married, the process for reverting back to your maiden name is similar. You will need the following documents:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Birth Certificate
  • Decree Absolute
  • Signed declaration stating that you are switching back to your Maiden name ‘for all purposes.’

These documents can be used to update your name on any official document. The only payment required will be to change the name on your passport – it may be better to wait until your passport needs renewing to avoid any unnecessary expense.


Changing your name by deed poll

If you don’t have access to the documents above; if they are in a foreign language and you don’t want to pay for translation; if you wish to change your name before your divorce is finalised, or if you wish to change your name to one different to your maiden name, this can be done by deed poll.

A family solicitor can help you with this or you can change your name by yourself using the template on the government website and two witnesses, to create a deed poll as proof of your new name – However, some organisations require what is known as an enrolled deed poll to update official records. To do this, you must ‘enrol’ your new name at the Royal Courts of Justice, which currently costs £42.44.


Who do I need to tell?

Although the following list is not exhaustive, it can be used as a guide to help you.

  • Employer
  • Inland Revenue
  • School / College / University
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • DVLA
  • Passport Office
  • Bank
  • Building Society
  • Mortgage Company
  • Pension Company
  • Insurance Company
  • Utility Companies
  • Telephone Companies – landline and mobile
  • Local Authority
  • TV Licensing Office
  • Credit Card Company
  • Motoring Organisations


If you would like any further advice on separation or divorce, we offer an initial no obligation consultation for £50 (incl. VAT) for up to one hour, where you can chat to a family lawyer about the impact it may have on your specific circumstances. To book, please call us on 01444 472700, email us on or complete the form below.

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