29th Aug 2014
FONT SIZE: A+ A-
Should I go back to my maiden name?
Should I go back to my maiden name?

After ending two marriages, Sally would like to revert to her maiden name, but doesn’t quite know where to start.

Q. Sally
Can you please help me? I wish to change my name back to my maiden name. I have been married twice once in the UK and once here in Australia but don't know where to start!

A. Reclaiming your own name can be cathartic. Well done on making the decision to do so. Reverting to your maiden name is not complicated, just time consuming. 

You will need copies of your birth, marriage and divorce certificates. If you are now an Australian citizen, your first change should be on your citizenship certificate as this will make the process easier. You can do this by following the steps at Citizenship.gov.au. Once you have received this, you should contact each organisation you have dealings with, for example, Centrelink, ATO, electoral roll, banks, credit card companies, driving licence, passport, superannuation etc. Some will require you to complete a form, some will accept your citizenship certificate as proof and others may request copies of all your certificates. 

The same applies to any organisations in the UK with which you still have dealings, perhaps UK Pensions, the tax office, or your passport. If you still have details of your UK National Insurance number, this will help.

When it comes to friends, employers, etc, simply advise them of the name by which you now wish to be known. Perhaps you could have a party to celebrate!





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    seagirl
    29th Aug 2014
    11:37am
    Good on you Sally.
    Theo1943
    30th Aug 2014
    10:13am
    Go for it Sally. My sister has been married more than 50 years and still considers herself to be a (insert maiden name) rather than a (insert married name). She is happy to be called by her married name but if her husband passed away, I suspect she would change to her maiden name. My daughter in law opted to be legally maiden-married names when she married my son. My grandson has my surname.
    Bet
    29th Aug 2014
    12:29pm
    Just do it Sally, I am doing the same thing!!! but as I was born and married in NZ I have to register my maiden name with birth death marriage in QLD, before I can renew passport I am an Australia Citizen
    KSS
    29th Aug 2014
    12:45pm
    It may be different here but if you are divorced in the UK you surrender your marriage certificate to get the divorce papers. Therefore you don't have a marriage certificate to submit to change your name.
    trood
    29th Aug 2014
    1:45pm
    In NSW it is possible to get a NAME CHANGE certificate from Births,Deaths & Marriages. On it you can list all your previous names, eg maiden name, married names, name at citizenship. Present all your certificates > birth, marriage (or decree nisi), citizenship. It is not necessary to change your citizenship certificate. By doing a name change you will have evidence of all your names on one document
    Dotty
    29th Aug 2014
    3:06pm
    As said this is not as hard as thought ! I reverted back to my maiden name and I did as Sally said ! Notified Centrlink and bank etc and because you already have your name on your Birth Certificate and any other papers as in Divorce. Drivers License and it was done in a matter of maybe a week !
    And then my eldest daughter decided to change her name to my maiden name also !
    So now we are two pea,s in a pod !
    Good luck with your decision to go back in a nice way !
    Its a step forward not back as some will try and say!!
    Dotty
    29th Aug 2014
    3:06pm
    As said this is not as hard as thought ! I reverted back to my maiden name and I did as Sally said ! Notified Centrlink and bank etc and because you already have your name on your Birth Certificate and any other papers as in Divorce. Drivers License and it was done in a matter of maybe a week !
    And then my eldest daughter decided to change her name to my maiden name also !
    So now we are two pea,s in a pod !
    Good luck with your decision to go back in a nice way !
    Its a step forward not back as some will try and say!!
    MICK
    29th Aug 2014
    3:32pm
    I'm so bad Muriel that I didn't even read the article. Sorry Eve.. .I mean Debbie. Please don't tell Adam.....I mean Drew.
    ready
    29th Aug 2014
    4:40pm
    I changed back to my maiden name, it felt like I had reclaimed who I was, we were given this name at birth, if I had my time again I wouldn't take my husbands name......maybe this is just an age thing
    Trish
    29th Aug 2014
    4:41pm
    After going through the hoops it is definitely worth it Sally as having back your birth name legally gives you a feeling of completeness. You are who you are and who you were born to be. So many of us get lost in the roles we play of being someone's wife, mother etcc that it is so easy to get lost in that and forget who we were before. You will always be your children's mother and that will never change but you don't have to carry the name of your ex husband. Just take a deep breath, be really organised and go for it. It may seem more convenient to do everything online but I found it easier and quicker in the long run to go into the bank and motor transport and other places as I was on the spot if they had any questions, so was faster in the long run. Hang in there and welcome to your new life.
    MICK
    29th Aug 2014
    5:07pm
    I always smile when I see how different men are to women. Personally I wouldn't care if I were a Brown or a Smith....as long as not a Greer. What's in a name anyway?
    I know: women are from Venus and men are from Mars.
    ready
    29th Aug 2014
    5:24pm
    the thing is Mick you weren't expected to change your name when you married, so we are reclaiming back our name
    MICK
    29th Aug 2014
    5:51pm
    I wouldn't care if my changed...as long as it was not to Greer. Blokes don't care.
    Its a bit like the debate between breast cancer and prostrate cancer ready: you see a breast cancer story on TV once a week and a prostrate cancer story on TV once a year. Men generally tend to accept things which happen to them as fate whilst women are different.
    As I said women are from Venus and men are from Mars. It makes life interesting.
    Adrianus
    30th Aug 2014
    9:18am
    Speak for yourself mick. If I was a woman I would never change my name, no matter how many times I got married. However, I do believe children should bear the name of their father.
    Theo1943
    30th Aug 2014
    10:07am
    Well Mick, shall we call you George from now on?
    Jenny
    29th Aug 2014
    6:02pm
    In the main page of Life Choices it stated that your sons were not in agreement with your wish to revert to your maiden name, but didn't give a reason. One assumes that this is due to some loyalty toward their father, or toward the name itself as a family identity. This is all well and good for them, but it is your decision alone as to what you want for yourself. And it is quite reasonable that you want your own identity rather that that of your ex - husband's. Go ahead and organize this, but making it absolutely clear that you respect their desire to remain linked to their fathers name.
    Pardelope
    30th Aug 2014
    2:46am
    I think the desire to revert back to your maiden name would have a lot to do with the circumstances of your marriage. If it was a happy and positive experience, one would feel more positive about the marriage name. However, if the experience was bad and the name is a constant reminder of the negativity it would be desirable to start afresh. Another more mundane reason to change would be if the name is difficult to spell, difficult to pronounce, or is an unpleasant name.

    I am tempted to revert back to my maiden name as it is much easier to spell and pronounce, but I had a very happy marriage, and I think my late husband's family would feel that I was rejecting them. There are no children involved, so it is a personal choice for me (and an option for the future).
    Peepo
    5th Sep 2014
    3:23pm
    I did after 2 marriage breakdowns, and now I'm married for the 3rd time LOL
    Pardelope
    5th Sep 2014
    4:30pm
    Third time lucky!


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles