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Reversion and use of maiden name by married women...

Reversion and use of maiden name by married women
"My husband and I have been living separately for years now after I discovered and proved his blatant infidelity to our marriage vows. May I revert and use my maiden name in my official records, like in my driver's license?Shiela Dear Shiela,The use by the wife of her husband's surname is her option, but not her obligation. Article 370 of the Civil Code of the Philippines gives a married woman the following options, thus: ""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, or (3) Her husband's full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as 'Mrs.'.""In addition to the aforesaid options, she may opt to continuously use her maiden name. The Supreme Court in Remo vs. Secretary of Foreign Affairs (GR 169202, March 5, 2010), penned by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, explained:""Clearly, a married woman has an option, but not a duty, to use the surname of the husband in any of the ways provided by Article 370 of the Civil Code. She is therefore allowed to use not only any of the three names provided in Article 370, but also her maiden name upon marriage. She is not prohibited from continuously using her maiden name once she is married because when a woman marries, she does not change her name but only her civil status. Further, this interpretation is in consonance with the principle that surnames indicate descent."" Generally, there is no law which prohibits a married Filipino woman from reverting and using her maiden name in her official records. The exception is the Philippine Passport Act (Republic Act 8239) because under the said law, once a married woman opted to use her husband's family name in her passport, she may not revert to use her maiden name, except in the following cases: (1) death of husband, (2) divorce, (3) annulment or (4) nullity of marriage. (Section 5 (d), Ibid.). As explained by the Supreme Court in aforesaid decision, the reason for this is to maintain the integrity and credibility of Philippine passports and documents proceeding from it which is an exercise of the police power of the State.Additionally, in Memorandum Circular 2016-07, dated Oct. 12, 2016, with subject: Allowing Married Women to Retain and Use their Maiden Name in Lieu of their Husband's Surname in accordance with Existing Laws and Pertinent Jurisprudence, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) impels all institutions, particularly those in the public sector to review, revise and align their policies, guidelines and procedures with the abovementioned Court's decision. This is in consonance with Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), of which the Philippines is a State Party.Thus, in order to revert and use your maiden name, you may inquire into each agency/office where such records are kept on their procedures on reversion/retention and use of your maiden name.As for your driver's license, please be guided by a Memorandum dated Oct. 1, 2020, issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) entitled ""Retention or Reversion and Use of Maiden Name in Lieu of Husband's Name by Married Women."" The said memorandum, in part, prohibits its district/extension offices from ""requiring married women who use their maiden surname to present a court decree of annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage."" 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@manilatimes.net"

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"Reversion and use of maiden name by married women" was written by Mary under the Legal Advice category. It has been read 176 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 15 September 2021.
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