When can i revert back to my maiden name once seperated?

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sara1981 | 22:55 Sat 14th Nov 2009 | Law
5 Answers
Please be gentle its my 1st thread.

I have been married for 5 months and two weeks ago my husband walked out. We are now seperated. We were together for 5 years and have a house in joint names. Having only just informed relevant parties of my marriage and change of name I now find myself needing to revert back to my maiden name.

My question is - can i just revert back to my maiden name, just like that? We cannot get divorced as we have not been married a year yet, but will eventually and may even get a judicial seperation in the meantime.

My passport is still in my maiden name as i had not got round to changing it. Can i legally use my passport and/or birth certificate to inform everyone (once again) of my change of name? Is that legal or would it be considered and deceiving.

Essentially, I suppose I am trying to find out whether I can simply revert back to my maiden name because we are permanently seperated or whether I have to make it official somewhere. eg officially seperated.


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I think you can as it's not a legal requirement to take your husbands name in the first place.
I think you can just change it back - I really feel for you. I'm on my second marriage and I have to admit, I still haven't changed my name with all my dealings cos I worried about it not working out after the first one. It's been 3 and a half years and I still can't quite get round to it just in case... Good luck to you and remember, it's his loss.
You can use your maiden name.It's your name ! You don't have to use his name. Some women never use their married name at all in everyday life and some never use it for work It's certainly no deception. In fact, in a sense, you, yourself, might think it a deception to continue to use your married name, now you're rid of him !

It's possible that some authority somewhere has you down under your married name. If so,and the question arises, just tell them that you have reverted to your maiden name. It doesn't require any deed poll or affidavit or anything of that sort of legal formality.
Both your names are legal aliases.
My wife still uses her first husband's name even though we are married.

I even answer yes if I am asked on the phone if I am Mr X.
Clearly if my wife is entiled to use my name I am entitled to use her legal name.
In the UK (unlike in many other countries) anyone is free to use any name they like, at any time. (There are a few very limited exceptions, such as people on the sex offender's register who have to notify the police about any name changes. Also, of course, it's illegal to claim to be someone else in order to commit fraud, but such exceptions aren't relevant here).

So I can call myself John Smith on Monday. On Tuesday I can be Herbert Jones. On Wednesday I can be Martha Price. On even numbered hours on Thursday I can be Louise Humphrey Bloggs, but during the odd numbered hours I can be Horatio El Presidente. It's all perfectly legal and there's no need for any formal declarations of name changes (such as deed polls).

Of course 'officials' (such as banks, council tax officers, tax men, etc) want to be able to keep track of people. So it makes sense to limit the number of names that you use, but (as far as UK law is concerned) you've always been free to choose between your married and maiden names. (Many actresses, for example, will retain their maiden name for professional purposes but use their married name for other purposes. As long as they don't try to defraud the tax man by doing so, it's entirely legal).

You've posted this question under 'Law'. The simple 'legal' answer is that you need to do absolutely nothing to start using your maiden name again. In practice you might need to contact individual organisations (such as your bank or HMRC) with a written declaration stating that you'll be using your maiden name in future. (For example, if you used to sign your cheques as 'Sara Bloggs', but you'll now sign as 'Sara Jones', your bank will need a new specimen signature).


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