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Can a Woman Keep her Surname after Marriage?

Adopting a new surnameHistorically, the expectation and indeed the norm was that a woman would assume the husband’s surname after marriage. Women did not even think twice about assuming her husband’s surname after marriage. As times are changing keeping the maiden name hyphenated with the husband’s surname is apparently a fad. Both in same-sex and opposite-sex marriages these days there isn’t any hard and fast rule anymore that the wife must assume the surname of her husband. It’s a moot point that modern married women who may be working professionals having to change their surnames by assuming their husband’s surname. Rather keeping their surnames after marriage maybe is a practical and rational choice rather than a compulsion based on custom.Undeniably assuming the husband’s surname after marriage is indeed a lot of hassle in the sense that married women have to change their surnames on all of their government IDs including Aadhar card, PAN card, Voter ID so on and so forth which women of this day and age intend to avoid. Women could not voice their opinion probably until a few decades ago. They were more docile as men played a dominant role in society. They had to submit to the diktats of custom or tradition. With times changing though, these days both opposite-sex and same-sex marriages have several options and they are as follows:Women can assume the last name of their husbands Women can keep their maiden namesThe maiden name of a wife can be hyphenated along with the surname of the husbandA new surname that is a fusion of the surnames of both the spouses could be created and can be used by both spousesSpouses may prefer keeping their own surnames but their children’s surnames can be hyphenated The run-up to marriage is fraught with making decisions. There are numerous decisions on the anvil namely the color scheme, the food, and the venue. Decisions need to be made after the marriage as well. One of those vital decisions to be made is whether or not the woman would assume the surname of her husband or keep her maiden name after marriage. Recent reports indicate that a vast majority of brides tend to take the husband’s surname after marriage while the remaining opt to either retain their maiden name or opt to hyphenate which is the case for same-sex couples as well. A survey revealed that female couples more than their male counterparts preferred to assume the name of their male spouse after marriage.The question invariably is whether a name change is right or wrong. There isn’t a right answer working for everyone and one has to consider several aspects to assume the name of one’s partner.Name Change through Common UsageIt's entirely the discretion of the wife as to whether or not the wife would assume the surname of her husband. However, if the wife decides on changing his/her surname one can through “common usage” fairly easily. The wife historically had this option of adopting her husband’s surname.Although common usage name changes in instances of same-sex marriages, ought to be valid, however as same-sex marriage adds a relatively new dimension to marital bonding, one may have to get a name change ordered by the court.For legal validation of a name change by applying the common usage method the steps to follow are:A copy of one’s marriage certificate as proof of name changeAn updated driver’s license against a copy of one’s marriage certificateGet a new Aadhar card/PAN card/Voter ID card with one’s new surname against one’s marriage certificate, andUpdating any bank, insurance, passport, or employer records against one’s marriage certificateThis process can be completed relatively easily if the new surname after marriage reflects on one’s marriage certificate. If one already has children or having children is in the works then one might as well change one’s name so as to have a single-family name for all family members. However, if a new surname different from the surname of the other spouse is to be used by a spouse, the spouse intending a name change would have to undergo the official name change ordered by the court. If there is malafide intention of committing fraud or concealing an identity then a name change is undesirable and can be prevented in some jurisdictions.Name Change through a Court OrderA court-ordered name change in comparison with the common usage name change though is complicated is by far simpler to complete. In the vast majority of cases, a request for a name change has to be submitted along with an order proposal to be reviewed and signed by a judge.In all likelihood, a judge may set a date for the hearing of one’s case ensuring that one's request for the name change is not, in fact, a malafide intention of committing fraud.  Once the order has been received with one’s request granted, one has to undergo the common usage process for changing one’s name on one’s driver’s license, Aadhar Card, PAN Card and Voter ID card. ?Rather than provide a copy of one’s marriage certificate, submitting the certified copy of the name change court order is the requirement. If you need any professional advice, speak to an expert lawyer on a name change after marriage at Vidhikarya.

Posted By

Avik Chakravorty

1 day ago

Can a Husband get Maintenance from his Wife?

For both spouses, divorce is as stressful as its challenging. Finance among other key aspects of divorce can only be handled by an expert financial advisor for their clients. There are legal services connecting top lawyers to clients and in the process facilitate effective assistance in a wide variety of financial issues including and transcending alimony/ maintenance, financial security, asset/property distribution, child support, financial planning after divorce and the resultant tax implications.According to divorce lawyers, after divorce alimony payment to the husband by the wife is enforceable by the husband but whether or not the wife is liable to pay alimony/maintenance is for the courts to decide and accordingly take a call on granting the same. Maintenance and expenses of proceedings If it appears to the court in any proceeding u/s 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 that either the husband or the wife whatever be the case, is not financially independent enough to be self-supporting and to afford the proceeding’s necessary expenses let alone child custody after divorce, it may, contingent upon the husband or the wife applying for a divorce petition, the court orders the respondent to ensure that the petitioner gets paid on account of the expenses of the proceeding an amount commensurate with the petitioner’s own income and that of the respondent it may appear to be reasonable to the court. Permanent alimony and maintenance(1) Courts with jurisdiction according to section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 can, while passing a decree or subsequently, on the basis of an application made to the court for permanent alimony and maintenance by either spouse, as may actually be the case, decree that the respondent pay the applicant for either spouse’s maintenance and support a gross monthly amount or an amount periodically with the term of the payment not to exceed the lifetime of the applicant commensurate with the income of the respondent and the applicant’s any other property, the parties conduct, and other situations relevant to the case, the court may deem it to be just and fair in securing similar payments if required by putting a lien on the respondent’s immoveable property.(2) The satisfaction of the Court in regards to the possible altered situation of either party after the order has been passed under sub-section (1) of section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 is vital. The Court may still at the behest of either the husband or the wife, modify, vary, or rescind such orders according to the best judgment of the court.(3) Should the Court be satisfied with the fact that the order passed in favor of a party remarries or, if the said party happens to be the wife, who is not chaste or if the said party happens to be the husband, who may have had  an extramarital affair, the court may similarly at the behest of the other husband or the wife as the case may be, vary, modify or rescind such orders in a way the court may deem fair and just.Amongst other rights validated by divorce and matrimonial laws, the most crucial right is the right of receiving and claiming alimony or maintenance. Usually, alimony is an allowance which the husband has to pay to the wife following the orders of the court for the wife’s sustenance.   There are five distinct communities that constitute our society including Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, and Jews. The personal laws of each community are derived from customs, traditions and religious scriptures. Therefore, the purpose of a Hindu woman seeking divorce and alimony, for example, may differ from community to community. Likewise, the law on alimony and maintenance may vary as the applicable personal law keeps changing from community to community. Under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for example, both spouses have a legal entitlement towards permanent alimony and maintenance. If the couple remarries though, under the Special Marriage Act 1954, it's only the wife who would be entitled to permanent alimony and maintenance. In the case of mutual consent divorce of a couple, it's for the couples to arrive at an agreement as to whether or not any alimony or maintenance payments are to be made by any of the parties. In cases of this nature, alimony/maintenance payments can go both ways; the husband to the wife as well as the wife to the husband based on how well the couples understand each other. The court’s passing of the divorce decree is based on the terms agreed-upon among couples. The decree is binding on the couple and is enforceable by a court of law.The hot topic these days regarding divorce is whether or not ex-husbands can claim maintenance from their ex-wives. It has always been the other way round. The blog talks about maintenance and expenses of proceedings as well as permanent alimony and maintenance.Get in touch with Vidhikarya Legal Services, an enabler or facilitator when it comes to connecting clients to best lawyers with huge experience in handling family and marital issues.

Posted By

Avik Chakravorty

3 days ago

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  • What are the laws on bankruptcy & debt in India?
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About bankruptcy & debt Laws


The primary law dealing with the subject of bankruptcy and debt laws is the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) is a substitution to separated legal framework and a split institutional set-up which was kept on passing on poor outcomes for a significant long time loan bosses and troubled business searching for an exit. This will profit everybody loan bosses, troubled business, economy and the estimation of the assets will be expanded. The manner by which the law is starting at now being realized seems to focus more on fast operationalisation. It has presented the time bound determination process which is the 180-day course of events talks profoundly about the point of the IBC – fast assurance of insolvency to help with the recuperation as to win in the economy where there is more capability about the recuperation system and expanding the estimation of assets of bothered business. Since the IBC accommodates a period bound system, it puts gigantic weight on the promoters as wells as the lenders to quick track a trade off recipe or risk the asset being liquidated.

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding involving a person or business that is unable to repay outstanding debts. Some of the distinguishing elements of the code are-

  • Comprehensive law – this code is a comprehensive law which envisages and regulates the process of insolvency and bankruptcy of all persons including corporates, partnerships, LLP’s and individuals.
  • Withering away of Multiplicity of Laws – Code withered away multiple laws covering the recovery of debts and insolvency and liquidation process and presents singular platform for all the reliefs relating to recovery of debts and insolvency.
  • Clarity in Process- there is a clear and unambiguous process to be followed by all stakeholders. There is also shift of control from shareholders and promoters to creditors.
  • New Regulatory Authority- it provides for constitution of a new regulatory authority, ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India’ to regulate professionals, agencies and information utilities engaged in resolution of insolvencies of companies, partnership firms and individuals.

The Code plots a bankruptcy assurance handle for individuals, associations and affiliation firms. As showed by the Section 6 of the code it is communicated that the method may be begun by either the corporate record holder or the financial lenders and operational advance managers. The most extraordinary time limit of 180 days and 90 days increase just if the Adjudicating Authority is persuaded for realization of the very system, has been set for corporates and individuals.

There are two types of tribunals. For Companies and Limited Liability Partnership Firms there is The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and for people and associations there is the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT).

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