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Using two surnames as a male...

(23 Posts)
TeamEponine Mon 27-Jun-16 06:39:47

I was wondering if anyone knows about the legalities of using two different surname as a male.

Lots of women use two separate surnames; one professional (maiden name) and one personal (married name). However I've never known of a male doing something similar.

When DH and I married I kept my name for lots of reasons, and he always said that he wanted to change his surname to mine. However, for long and complicated reasons, he can't fully do that yet.

He does, however, want us to have the same surname, and it struck me that many women have two surnames, so why not a male?

What we want is for him to use his birth surname for the "legal" stuff (passport, house deeds, bank, etc) but to use my surname for work and day to day stuff.

A complication with him using a different name at work is that he is regularly DBS checked and has to be accredited by his professional society. I'm not sure this would be possible if he had two different surnames?

Eventually he will fully change his surname, but it can't happen yet.

Does anyone know if this would be legal, and how we would go about doing this?

Thanks flowers

MrsBertBibby Mon 27-Jun-16 09:52:47

Assuming you're in the UK, you can call yourself whatever you like as long as you aren't trying to deceive.

Although I suspect work might struggle with a different name on the payroll from the one in daily use.

TeamEponine Mon 27-Jun-16 11:18:19

Yes, we are in the UK at the moment. So he can just tell work, etc that he has changed his name, and live with two parallel names?

I really thought it wouldn't be possible!

Maybe he needs to talk to his employer and professional body about it.


MrsBertBibby Mon 27-Jun-16 11:40:17

Definitely talk to the professional body as there may be issues there.

Terrifiedandregretful Thu 30-Jun-16 13:00:10

Surely women do this all the time so I can't imagine there's a problem. The laws aren't going to be different for men and women.

TeamEponine Thu 30-Jun-16 16:59:23

That's what I would have thought, but I've never known a male to use two names in that way. I know a few who have taken on a double barrelled name, but not two separate names.

ClaraLane Thu 30-Jun-16 17:01:24

It depends on the professional body - I work in the NHS and our nurses and doctors have to practice under the name registered on the NMC or GMC website. They can't be registered under one name and practice with another. Could he just change it for everything else except work?

TeamEponine Thu 30-Jun-16 17:58:33

Work is one of the main places he'd want it changed for. He'd want the same name for practice and the body, so everything work related in one name and that is what he would want to use on a day to day basis. That would be different to his passport and bank account though

Do you know how a dbs check work with two names? Do they allow for an alternative name on the forms?

CotswoldStrife Thu 30-Jun-16 18:15:45

Could he double-barrel in the meantime? I can't remember about the DBS forms but I strongly suspect they have an option to put in another surname used within a certain length of time for women who change their name.

Does he travel for work, as he'd have to make sure they book tickets etc in the name on the passport!

NikiSaintPhalle Thu 30-Jun-16 18:21:47

I can think of several academic couples who took one another's names and double-barrelled when they married, so Shane Finnegan and Alison Dupont are now Shane Dupont Finnegan and Alison Finnegan Dupont.

TeamEponine Thu 30-Jun-16 19:59:16

He doesn't want to double barrel. He absolutely wants to take mine and mine only.

No travel for work, so that's not an issue.

Sounds like it might be possible!

StandoutMop Thu 30-Jun-16 20:01:08

I think dbs forms ask for previous names and separately any other names known by, but not certain.

Familylawsolicitor Thu 30-Jun-16 20:07:12

Hi OP.
There's absolutely no reason why your husband can't use a marriage certificate as proof of change a name as a woman does. It is more common to retain a "maiden" name for work and change the legal stuff and your DH is doing it the other way round but I don't see why not.

It's akin to a woman saying she's changed to her married name at work but not got round to bank accounts and passports yet. Showing a marriage certificate together with a passport in "maiden" name should be sufficient proof of the change of name for professional body purposes
Dear professional body, please not I've taken my wife surname at work now, here is a copy of my marriage certificate, please change your records etc.

Yes DBS and passport applications and identity checks should all ask for any other name he has been known by.

I'd be really interested to know he is told that he "has to get a change of name deed" or a marriage certificate is not sufficient proof of intention to change name as that would seem discriminatory.

TeamEponine Thu 30-Jun-16 20:32:08

Ah, thank you, that's so helpful!

We were just checking on the professional body, and they asked for documentary evidence for a name change.

I looked into deed poll, but that appears to mean you can no longer use your previous name, is that right? So that's not an option for him.

Does that mean he can simply use our wedding certificate to change his name at work, with the professional body, driving licence, and other day to day stuff, then keep his original name on passport and bank account?

Sorry if I'm asking dumb or repetitive questions, I'm just terrified of doing something illegal and him getting into trouble!

Thanks flowers

Familylawsolicitor Thu 30-Jun-16 20:53:53

It's up to an institution what they accept as proof of change of name but they almost certainly accept a marriage certificate for a
women changing to a married name so why not for a man?

The standard wording of a change of name deed does say you absolutely renounce your intent to use your former name but you could just not send that the banks etc. There is no law against using two names, as long as you don't use that to be fraudulent and are accountable to both names.

In Emglish law you can call yourself whatever you want, you just have to show an intent to use that name which is generally proven by a marriage certificate or decree absolute or signing a statutory declaration that you intend to use Y name instead of X name.

Interesting the gov uk site has a really archaic process recommended on there of registration at the High Court which literally no one used til gov uk started recommending it

cdtaylornats Thu 30-Jun-16 22:02:46

Half the people in the entertainment industry use names other than their real one.

Writers often use more than one other name.

TeamEponine Fri 01-Jul-16 09:06:15

Excellent! Thanks all.

specialsubject Sat 02-Jul-16 18:03:00

sounds a real a pain in the arse. Splitting the big forms of ID (passport and driving licence) will make his life really difficult if he needs to prove ID.

why not just leave the name as it is until whatever stops him doing a total change has gone, then do the total change?

I imagine that the actors use their own name for real life, and just get billed by the stage name. Random aside is David Tennant who had to change fully when he did a stint in America due to their laws.

(Advice not affected by genitalia.)

TeamEponine Sat 02-Jul-16 18:24:45

It could be twenty years before he can fully change everything. Yes, it is a total pain in the arse! Maybe not driving licence then. He just wants to be able to be called by my surname on a day to day basis. Maybe he just needs to have his "work" name as the new one, and keep everything else with the old one.

Pain in the arse is certainly the right expression for this!

BikeRunSki Sat 02-Jul-16 18:28:02

Why ever not. Lots of male actors and authors use a professional pseudonym.

TeamEponine Sat 02-Jul-16 18:39:46

I guess I just worry about a situation where having two surnames could be an issue. For example, with a mortgage application, his bank accounts and work contracts would be in different names. Could that be a problem, or would we just need to show our marriage certificate?

Cinnamoncookie Sat 02-Jul-16 18:48:17

I am an unmarried (never married) woman and use two surnames - as mentioned by a PP, I work in the entertainment industry, although not as an actor. I retain my legal name for passport, driving licence, bank accounts etc, and use the professional name for everything else. I've not had any issues as yet, and have had two names for around 3 years.

Although I don't have my professional name registered as a limited company, I sign contracts and send invoices as {Legal Name} Trading as {Professional Name}

BikeRunSki Sat 02-Jul-16 20:01:17

I have used 2 surnames for 10 years. I have only come across one situation where its been a problem. Mortgage, pension, payroll, tax etc - all fine.

All work stuff is in my maiden name.
Passport, Driving licence, bank account etc in my married name. This is my "legal name".
Work HR/Payroll have a copy of my marriage certificate and tax office aware of my 2 name scenario - I am an NI number to them anyway, names is largely irrelevant!
Work (who call me Dr H) quite happy to pay salary into bank account of Mrs C. When I need to go abroad for work, they were quite happy with why my ticket needed booking in my "other" name

Only problem I've had - I work on construction sites, and every 5 years I need to renew the Health and Safety card that allows me to go on construction sites (CSCS card) - its like licence to work on sites. The test is like a driving theory test, and is at the same centres and you need to take photographic ID. They will only issue a card in the name of the photographic ID. I keep a copy of my marriage certificate in my car, which has always helped explain the situation to new site managers.

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