Changing Your Name – Before Marriage, After Marriage, or as a Result of Marriage
There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to change their name. And even though a name change procedure is generally simple, it’s different when you’re talking about changing your name before marriage, after marriage, or as a result of marriage.
To be honest, all the procedures are generally simple and will require little effort on your end. But if you’re in any of those situations, and would like to know where things stand, read on as we take a look at changing your name in these different scenarios.
Changing it Before Marriage
When you’re changing your name before marriage, the procedure is actually a conventional name change procedure. There is no complicated legal process, and all you’ll need to do is use a deed poll.
A deed poll is a legal document that proves you are changing your name. So, you can actually change any part of the name you want. You can add something, you can remove something (including hyphens), or you can just change the spelling.
There are two options when it comes to a deed poll. You either go for an ‘unenrolled’ deed poll, which you do by yourself, and you’ll need two witnesses to sign it. This is then used to change your name on legal documents such as your bank accounts, your passport, or your driving license and ID.
On the other hand, there are some institutions that might not accept an unenrolled deed poll and might require you to enrol it with the courts. This is only possible if you’re 18 and over, and it costs £36. When you’re doing this, you’re basically entering into the court documents a legal notice that you have changed your name, and that’s something that any organisation should accept.
A thing to note is that for a deed poll, you must be at least 16 years of age. If you’re under 16 years old, you will need everyone with parental responsibility to consent to the name change, and one of those people will need to apply for you.
If you are okay with all of the aforementioned ‘requirements’, you should be able to change your name with a deed poll pretty easily.
Changing it as a Result of Marriage
When you’re getting married, you can legally change your name as a part of the marriage process. Now, if this is the case for you, there are a few options you’re looking at. If you don’t want to keep using your surname, you’ll be able to choose between taking on your significant other’s surname or creating a combination of both of your surnames. The combination is usually done with hyphenating the two surnames, but that doesn’t have to be the case and you do have a bit of freedom in that regard.
It’s also worth noting that traditionally, the woman is expected to take her husband’s surname. But in the past few years, that tradition has lost its significance since there are a lot of couples who would actually want to do something different. There are a lot of reasons for this. Maybe you’re the only child in your family who can continue the surname and you’re a woman. So, you want your surname to live on, and you decide not to take on your husband’s. It’s a matter of choice!
Changing Your Name After Marriage
Last but not least, we have a change of name after marriage. This usually happens during a divorce, because sometimes you do not want to be associated with your ex-spouse anymore. It’s a perfectly reasonable thing, and many people opt for it.
Here, you also have a few options. As a woman who has taken her husband’s surname, for example, you can choose to go back to your maiden name. If you’re a man who has either taken his wife’s surname, you can go back to your family name.
There is no procedure here. All you have to do is talk to your divorce lawyer, and let them know that you want to change your surname as a part of the process. They should be able to take care of that without much trouble.
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