Changing back to your maiden name after divorce

Woman working on laptop
Originally published on 29th March 2019 at 1:29 PM

If you'd like to change your surname back to your maiden name, you can do so at any point. Your birth certificate and marriage certificate are official documents that state your maiden name.

To change your name back with your bank, etc, you'll need the following documents:

For divorces:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Decree Absolute Certificate

For civil partnership dissolutions:

  • Civil Partnership Certificate
  • Final Order Certificate

If you've lost any of the documents mentioned above, don't panic, you can easily get a new copy.

Get a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate:

  • Order a new copy from the government website here. The cost depends on the postage you require. In 2019, these fees increased slightly to £14 for standard delivery (despatched on the 15th working day after you've ordered it). If you need it sooner, you can opt for their priority services that start from £38; your certificate will be dispatched the next working day for this price.
  • Get in touch with the registry office where the marriage/civil partnership was registered. It depends on the office if they'll charge you for a copy.

Get a copy of your Decree Absolute / Final Order:

  • Ask any third parties you may have used for your divorce/dissolution (i.e. your amicable Divorce Coach, your solicitor, etc) if they have a copy on file
  • Call the central court switchboard on 0300 303 0642 - they usually charge £10 for replacement document requests

It's important to know that not all organisations will accept just these documents. To change official documents like your passport or driving licence, you may need to change your name back via deed poll – this is a legal document to prove a change of name. If you do need to change your name by deed poll, you can follow the steps on the government website here.

About the author

Having experienced her own protracted and expensive divorce, Emma has spent the past 5 years working as a Divorce Mentor. Emma works with divorcing couples to find a pragmatic approach, thereby minimising conflict and costs.

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