Married woman may continuously use her maiden name
"I am an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). My husband already abandoned me and our children for 10 years now. He is now living with his second family. I have a pending application for residency abroad and I already want to use my maiden name in my application. I already filed an annulment case but my lawyer said that the decision will not come too soon. May I apply for a new Philippine passport using my maiden name even before I am annulled so that I could already write my maiden name in my residency application?Luisa
Dear Luisa,The change of name from married name to your maiden name in your Philippine passport is not possible before your marriage is annulled or declared null and void. In an application for passport under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8239 entitled “Philippine Passport Act of 1996” a woman applicant who is married, separated or divorce or widowed is required to present a copy of the certificate of marriage, court decree of separation, divorce or annulment or certificate of death of the deceased spouse duly issued and authenticated by the Office of the Civil Registrar General. A woman-applicant who adopted the surname of her husband in her previous passport may revert to the use of her maiden name only in case of divorce recognized under existing laws of the Philippines, annulment, or declaration of marriage as void.
Based on the foregoing, a married woman has the option of using the surname of her husband in all her documents as the law permits the same in accordance with the provision of Article 370 of the Civil Code which provides that a married woman may use (1) her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, or (2) her maiden first name and her husband’s surname (3) her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating she is his wife, such as “Mrs.” However, once she was issued a Philippine passport bearing her married name, she cannot revert to her maiden name until the court ordered such reversion in an order for legal separation, or there is an order of annulment or declaration that the marriage is null and void or in case of death of the spouse.Moreover, the Supreme Court in the case of Maria Virginia V. Remo v. The Honorable Secretary of Foreign Affairs has clarified that in the case of renewal of passport, a married woman may either adopt her husband’s surname or continuously use her maiden name. If she chooses to adopt her husband’s surname in her new passport, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) additionally requires the submission of an authenticated copy of the marriage certificate. Otherwise, if she prefers to continue using her maiden name, she may still do so. The DFA will not prohibit her from continuously using her maiden name. However, once a married woman opted to adopt her husband’s surname in her passport, she may not revert to the use of her maiden name, except in the cases enumerated in Section 5 (d) of RA No. 8239. These instances are: (1) death of husband, (2) divorce, (3) annulment, or (4) nullity of marriage (G.R. No. 169202, dated March 5, 2010).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated."
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"Married woman may continuously use her maiden name"
was written by Mary
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and updated on 15 September 2021