Getting divorced or separating from a long-term partner is a difficult and emotional process to go through. It can often take many months or years to make the decision and then can be a slow process to go through all of the formalities and legal processes.
When you get separate you may be inclined to revert back to your maiden name. The process of reverting back to your old name is the same no matter if you are divorced or separated.
Many people find the process of reverting to your maiden name very difficult. It is time consuming and requires you to update your details with many organisations and companies, which can involve filling in many pages of forms and supplying supporting documents.
If your divorce is issued by an Australian court, you will receive a divorce order which lists your married and former names. All organisations will accept your divorce order as evidence of your prior name. If you have lost your original divorce order you can request a new one from the Family Law Courts.
If you are not yet divorced but wish to change your name you can provide proof of the link between your married name and prior name by providing your Births Deaths and Marriages issued birth certificate and wedding certificate.
Once you have the necessary supporting documents, you'll have to contact each necessary organisation to request your name to be updated.
We recommend starting by changing change names on your passport, driver’s license and medicare card. By having government issued photo ID in your new name, the rest of the process will be much easier as many organisations require this as proof.
The next step is to identify all of the organisations you have accounts or memberships with and research the process each one requires. Depending on the number of organisations you are a member of, this takes around 8 hours.
You'll need to research them online or call them, understand the process, obtain the relevant forms, complete the forms and then submit to the forms and supporting documentation to each organization. This can take another 15-30 mins per organisation, plus a few trips to the local Justice of the Peace and Post Office.
Some companies and organisations (for example, some of the banks) require an in-person visit so they can verify your identity and documents. For these companies, you should budget travel time and 15-30 mins per organization to get through the process.
Our clients have told us they find the process of researching, contacting organisations and going into stores or branches can be very difficult emotionally and is highly dependent on how emotionally aware and sensitive the staff are at the respective organisation.
This is one of the reasons we created Name Genie, a platform designed to digitise and automate as much of this process as possible.
Save yourself the hassle with a Name Genie subscription. We provide all the information you need to change your name and provide the technology to update your name directly from the platform.
Simply create a profile with your current and “new” name details, upload your documents, select your organisations from our list of more than 350 of the largest Australian organisations and submit your name change requests directly from the platform. If we can’t submit it directly, we provide you with the information you need to know (e.g. attend in person, links to fill in on-line forms etc.).