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  1. #1
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    I received a PM a short while ago from a forum member seeking guidance over concerns he had because his wife (who he married in the UK) uses his surname for everything in the UK - banks, tax, doctors etc, but in Thailand she still uses her maiden name. The concern being that whilst the wife (quite properly) uses her married name whilst in the UK, her Thai passport and ID card etcetera remain in her maiden name.

    The principal question was to enquire if this is permitted or would some kind of legal certificate need to be obtained noting that the 'missus' is using both names. There wasn't a problem per se but the member wanted to make sure there was no risk of a problem in the future - obviously the member didn't want to inadvertently open his wife up to a legal challenge - fraud or misrepresentation and suchlike.

    This is obviously a question many members might have considered (or may do so in the future when the newlywed arrives in the UK!) so I thought it might be helpful to provide some information on the subject here that might assist others.

    The principle is that after being married, it is up a wife to decide whether or not she wishes to change her surname to that of her husband. Although this is traditionally the case, it is not a legal requirement.

    A wife can do several things - she may continue using her maiden name, she can adopt the husband's surname or she can change her name by deed to something entirely different. However, if it is decided to have a double-barrelled surname then a change of name deed will be required.

    There is nothing in law to prevent a wife from using both her maiden name and her married name for different purposes (for example, she might want to use her maiden name as a professional name, and be known in private by her married name - or here in the UK she is officially known by her married name and in Thailand (for the sake of ease for example) she is known in her maiden name) - there is absolutely nothing wrong in doing so in British law.

    If a wife decides to take her husband's surname, then her marriage certificate will automatically provide the necessary documentary evidence of her change of name (there is no need for a formal change of name deed). The wife's Thai passport will be evidence of her Thai name. As long as there is no ulterior or sinister reason for changing a name then one can be called by any name one wishes - so long as it is pronounceable!

    Conversely on divorce, a wife can either keep her husband's name or revert back to her maiden name - the Decree Absolute being the only document required as evidence of the change of name - again there is no need for a formal change of name deed.

    As for children who were born outside the marriage - then a change of name deed will be required for them to assume the husband's surname. In marriage - the parents should decide on which surname the child should be known by before registering the birth.

  2. #2
    Premium Member KhunIanB-UK's Avatar
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    Tobias,

    Even though it was no be who PM'd you, I just wanted to to say Thanks for looking into this and helping out in the previous post.

    Cheers, Ian.

  3. #3
    R.I.P. Thaddeus's Avatar
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    Toby

    Very useful info ..... I want to take a slightly different slant on this.... how do I stop my wife (soon to be ex-wife) from being able to use my name?

  4. #4
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    And another thanks to you Tobias for the great advice, sure it will help many people out.
    Geoff

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    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Thaddeus:
    Toby
    ..... I want to take a slightly different slant on this....
    You would, wouldn't you?

    Originally posted by Thaddeus:
    .... how do I stop my wife (soon to be ex-wife) from being able to use my name?
    Well Thad, the answer to this may surprise you - there is nothing you can do. At marriage it is the wife's choice to choose whether or not she assumes your surname and on divorce it is the wife's choice to chose to revert back to her maiden name (or not as the case may be).

    There is simply nothing you can do. I had a client a few years back who never married his long term girlfriend - she changed her name by deed to have the same surname as their children - when they spilt up he wanted to stop her using his name - answer - he couldn't!
    Tobias - โทเบียส

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    R.I.P. Thaddeus's Avatar
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    Ah well .... mai bpen rai ..... she could never pronounce it properly anyway


    Flying visit ..... worked all day ... need food and beer ... I think I'll go for a Thai

  7. #7
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    Hi Tobias,

    what happens in these cases if you marry in Thailand?

    My GF and I plan to submit a visa application well before we marry so that we can confirm dates for the interview, travel etc. That will obviously be in her maiden name, accompanied by her passport in her maiden name. But we'll have to produce the marriage documents at the interview.

    Any idea how this would work?
    Khop khun maak
    William

  8. #8
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    William, that shouldn�t be a problem for the reasons stated in the opening post of this thread. At the time of the application, you will not be married and so she will have to use her own surname. Once you are married there is nothing preventing her from still using her maiden name on her travel documents � and the visa.

    The wife could simply assume her Mrs 2003 title once she lands in the UK. Just make sure when booking flights etc that you use the name as it appears in the passport otherwise you might find that she will be denied boarding!!!!!

    As to


    what happens in these cases if you marry in Thailand?
    It doesn�t matter where in the world you are married � the same rules apply regarding change of name (or not) on marriage in the UK.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

  9. #9
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    Thanks Tobias, that clears things up nicely.

    William

  10. #10
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    In Thailand, a wife can now also keep her maiden name, if she wants to. But I believe that she has to change her title from "Miss" to "Mrs." See Thai Women Allowed to Keep Maiden Names.

    Update February 8, 2008: Women to get choice of Mrs, Miss, effective 04 June 2008.

    The Royal Thai Embassy recommends the following:
    If the applicant has changed or wishes to change his/her surname after the marriage or divorce, the applicant is required to bring evidence of marriage or divorce in order to apply for an amendment of his/her personal data at the District Registration Office in Thailand prior to applying for a new Electronic Passport. (If the applicant is unable to apply at the District Registration Office in Thailand to amend the personal data, it is able to make power of attorney form at the Royal Thai Embassy in London for other person to act on his/her behalf as follows

    In the case of marriage or divorce that has been registered in accordance with foreign law.

    To authorize other person to register the applicant’s marital status.

    To authorize other person to register an amendment of the applicant’s title and surname in the House Registration Document.

    In the case of marriage or divorce that has been registered in accordance with Thai law.

    To authorize other person to register an amendment of the applicant’s title and surname in the House Registration Document.

    Notice : The applicant is required to apply for power of attorney in person at the Royal Thai Embassy in London at the working hours between 9.30 a.m. -12.30 p.m. every Monday to Friday (Except Thai and UK Public Holidays)
    Update


    See also Public Service Manual, under Marriage Registration for more information.
    Last edited by Vinny; 29th Jul 2018 at 07:13. Reason: link changed
    We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

  11. #11
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Vinny:
    In Thailand, a wife can now also keep her maiden name, if she wants to. But I believe that she has to change her title from "Miss" to "Mrs." ...
    This is not the case in the UK however - wouldn't have a clue about Thailand though.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

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    I arent sure about the truth in this, but I'm under the impression that there can be problems for Thai women regarding property if they have a farang surname on their id documents. This is just something I was told in Thailand by a passing acquaintance. But he didn't seem to have any reason to say it if it wasn't true.
    Its not uncommon for the wife to maintain her family name in Thailand
    Honour good men, be courteous to all men, bow down to none.

  13. #13
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    Roberrrt, what you say is literally an "old wives tale" ... if only because it used to be true ... thus was true for old wives .... but it is no longer true at all.

    A Thai citizen whatever their name or marital status is able to own land in Thailand.
    John

  14. #14
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Originally posted by John:
    A Thai citizen whatever their name or marital status is able to own land in Thailand.
    And even if the person in question has dual nationality!
    Tobias - โทเบียส

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    Hi

    We just bought a house in Thailand in November, before the house was signed over to my wife she changed her id to her married name and the house book is in her married name.


    Gary, Su & Andrew

  16. #16
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    i hope this is right place for this post .My ex wife to be and I are flying to thailand soon .I was wondering before i book the ticket what name should i use for her as this is important .her passport is in her maiden name .But it has aslo got a page in it from the thai embassy with her married name as changed .I am aware that your airline ticket must match your name on passaport ,so which name should i use for the ticket her original name before we got married or her married name which is printed on one of the pages of her passport .Also we plan on getting divorced while we are over there with a bit of luck .So what name will she be called on the way back to england .
    Any help greatly appreciated .
    Brian.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Biowan:
    so which name should i use for the ticket her original name before we got married or her married name which is printed on one of the pages of her passport.
    This stamp changes the name in her passport, so she should use her married name for booking the ticket.
    Also we plan on getting divorced while we are over there with a bit of luck .So what name will she be called on the way back to england .
    The name in her passport.

    How long has she had her ILR? Remember that ILR would have been granted to her as she is your wife. I'm not totally sure, but I think divorcing shortly after receiving ILR may cause the Home Office to have serious doubts about the validity of her ILR application and could cause them to rescind it.

  18. #18
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    we have been married over nearly four year ,she has flr as i am irsih so she is on a fammily permit so the marriage has been a long time so that should be alright .i will check what name her vis is under though good thinking .

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    Dear Tobias

    Im just see this post and wondering the person who's PM you is my ex- husband ...hope not Ha ha
    Im having a problem with my ex_ because Im goning to the fanal hearing next months.My ex_ doesnt very happy that im still useing his surename.He is asking his solicitor to order me to remove his surename.

    I have dual passport and married for 12 ys before we are break up..
    What's a shame ,when you get married we have to used husband name .....no matther we like it or not ?
    And now ...... he not happy for us to used his name any more?
    Thank you for the post anyway..Its make me feel better to know my right even a little bit it.
    noona

  20. #20
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    My wife has just returned to the UK on a settlement visa. Can she still use her maiden name for everything in the UK?

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