When you get married or enter into a civil partnership it is not obligatory to change your name and take on your partner’s surname.
Some people decide to change their name because of marriage or with couples wanting to make it simpler especially if they have children together. If you are travelling abroad with children, and you have different surnames, questions may be raised by boarder control.
But some people simply decide that they want to change their name for other reasons. If you are over 18, it is possible for you to change your forename or surname or to simply add additional names or rearrange existing names. You can be known by any name that you wish, but you will find it difficult to change official documents such as your passport, driving licence or even your bank account without a formal deed poll.
A deed poll is a legal document you can be produced to prove your new forename and/or surname. It has to include specific information. This can be prepared by a solicitor.
If you decide to take your spouse’s or civil partner’s name, you do not need a deed poll. You will, however, have to send a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate to various bodies so that they can update their records i.e. banks, insurance companies, passport office etc.
If you get divorced or end your civil partnership, it is possible to return to your original name by showing organisations such as banks your marriage certificate and decree absolute, or your civil partnership and final order. However, some organisations will refuse to change your name back without a deed poll.
Changing a child’s name is a more complex process, so specialist legal advice is always recommended.
If you require your name to be changed, or you wish to change your child’s name, please contact a member of the family team to arrange an appointment.
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