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Change or not to change your surname after divorce?

Change or not to change a surname after separation is entirely up to you and your preferences.

Although there is no legal requirement to do so, many separated or divorced women revert to using their maiden name. This is entirely a personal choice – as there is no legal requirement to do so.

If you married in Australia and took on your spouse’s name, you can go back to your previous family name and you don’t need to have separated or divorced. Generally, there is no need to apply for a change of name with BDM.

In order to update your family name on your documents and accounts, contact the organisations to see what they need. In most cases you’ll need:

  • Your Australian marriage certificate
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your divorce certificate (if applicable).

How to change your name after separation, divorce or through personal choice.

Here is the process outlined by the Queensland Government.

Organisations will have different requirements for what proof they need for your change of name; some may want:

  • to see your standard birth and marriage certificates
  • certified photocopies of your standard birth and marriage certificates
  • evidence of separation or divorce (if applicable)
  • evidence of updated photo ID
  • a combination of identity documents.

Personal documentation, such as your driver licence and passport, can be changed to your previous name using a standard marriage certificate (but not the certificate issued by your celebrant at your wedding ceremony) and evidence of separation/divorce (if applicable).

You can find more information about the process by following this link.

If you have any questions, you can book your free initial consultation with one of our best in class lawyers here.


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