In Australia, it remains a long-held custom that women take their Husband's surname upon marriage. When doing so, there is no legal requirement to register the change of name with the relevant State Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry.

Rather, you simply need to inform all organisations that you having dealings with, for example government agencies, banks etc., that you wish to change your name and then provide them with the documentation they require to accept the change of name. Each organisation will have their own requirements and in most cases you will be required to provide a copy of your marriage certificate.


Similarly, when parties separate or get divorced it is common for women to want to revert back to their maiden name. If reverting back to a maiden name, the process is much the same. You are not legally required to register any change in name if reverting to your maiden name.

You will, however, need to ensure that all organisations you have had dealings with have been informed and that you comply with any requirements they may have to effect the name change in their records.

You are not legally required to revert to your maiden name following separation. There is no time limit for when you should change your name if you make that choice. In fact many women choose to retain their married surname, particularly where there are children of the marriage. To avoid any confusion or upset to the children a mother might choose to retain her married name until the children are older and better able to understand the situation.

If, however, you were born overseas and legally changed your name to your spouse's name then you would have been required to legally change your name with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. You will, therefore, once again need to make an application to the registry to change your name should you wish to revert back to your maiden name.

Similarly, if you were married overseas and legally changed your name to your spouse's name with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages then you will need to legally change your name again with the Registry to revert back to your maiden name.

Ultimately, the decision to revert back to a maiden name is a personal choice and certainly does not need to be rushed. To know what your options are and where you stand, give our friendly Brisbane family lawyers a call on 1800 632 930

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