Married woman not mandated to use surname of husband
"I have been married to my Swedish husband for three years now. Since we have plans to travel next month, I am planning to renew my passport which is about to expire in a couple of days. But I am not sure if I will start using the surname of my husband. Am I required to use his surname? What should I present in case I choose to use my husband’s surname? Do I need to file a petition of some sort? Your soonest response will be greatly appreciated.Regards,
It is not mandatory for a married woman to use the surname of her husband. This is so because we have no law which imposes on a married woman to use the surname of her husband. What we do have is a provision of law, particularly Article 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, which allows a married woman to 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, or (3) Her husband’s fullname, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as ‘Mrs.’ ”Accordingly, you have the option to continue using your maiden first name and surname, or you may use the surname of your husband in your application for issuance of a new passport, as well as in all your personal and public dealings. Please be advised that there is no need for you to file a petition for change of name in order for you to use the surname of your husband, should you desire to do so. While as a general rule, no person can change his or her name or surname without judicial authority (Article 376, id), the use of the husband’s surname by a married woman is permitted by operation of law.
However, it is advisable for you to present before the Department of Foreign Affairs a copy of your NSO-authenticated marriage certificate in order for you to validly substantiate your entitlement to use the surname of your husband in your passport application. If you and your husband were married abroad, you may be required to present your marriage certificate which was issued abroad but duly-authenticated by the Philippine embassy or consular office near the place where your marriage was celebrated.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.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilAatimes.net"
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"Married woman not mandated to use surname of husband"
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and updated on 15 September 2021