The present times have seen an emerging practice of working
women opting to keep using their maiden name in their professional
life, or even retaining their maiden name altogether.
One of the biggest reasons for this is that for many
professionals, your name is your most valuable asset. In modern
society, women, like men, develop unique reputations in their
respective industries. Not only is a reputation developed, but
professional relations instil trust and confidence between
colleagues and clients.
In a survey conducted by global measurement company Nielsen in
2013, it was recorded that 84% of consumers trust recommendations
from people that they know, compared to approximately 50-60% who
trust various forms of advertising. If your name is no longer
searchable through social media networks and search engines, you
may lose out on a significant amount of potential business.
The law provides for an adult to assume any surname they wish
(as often as they wish except for the purposes of fraud). A
person's surname does not form part of their legal name, but
rather a 'conventional' or 'informal' name by which
a person is known. Essentially this means that there are no
obligations imposed on women to change their surname formally if
they retain their maiden name. Women may choose to maintain their
maiden name completely for professional purposes, and identify
using their married name 'by association'. They may also
choose to change to their married name on all legal documents, and
maintain use of their maiden name amongst whichever circles they
If a person identifies under multiple surnames, one thing to be
conscious of is to pick which name they record on legal documents,
and maintain that. Whilst signing the incorrect name is unlikely to
cause any legal consequences, it may result in time consuming
inconvenience in the event that government agencies are unwilling
to accept inconsistent documentation.
Sect.117 can deal with false statements and knowingly making false allegations of violence could justify a costs order.
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