This is for Indians – “Divorced wife shouldn’t use husband’s name,………………….”………?

The Bombay High Court has held that a divorced woman cannot use her former husband’s name (19 Feb 2010).

In an order passed early this week, the High Court directed a woman to refrain from using husband’s name and…

It should be woman’s choice but i feel why woman feel like keeping her divorced husband surname…. why cant she keep different surname…. why only woman has to change her title after marriage and why she is the one who has to change the surname after divorce …these are question which no court can answer …why court has not ordered that after marriage both husband and wife should change their surname .

1. Anybody would hold dear, one’s own name. So, why would a lady change her name upon getting married? Where did such an idea originate from?

To my knowledge this change of /addition of names after marriage doesnot have any way back origin, my grandma did not change/add her name with grandpa’s name! may be the british rule and its influence had an impact!!!

2. What does the man stand to gain by having his wife change her name (and even surname), to that of his (or his parent’s) choice? Would you call such a man, just and fair?

Again no evidence of Must, doesnot exist.its a personal choice of a wife i suppose.During my father’s era/age group, i have seen 95% of wife’s changed their names including her husbands name after marriage.

But thats not the case now a days. Personal experience, my wife did not change or i did not enforce, and in all records she has the same name as she had at the time of her birth – Evidence her bank accounts, passport, my passport…..

So there is no concrete evidence/law that a wife should change her name!

Its the wife’s own decision / acceptance to change or not!!!

3. If she was made to change her name at the time of marriage, is it justified (by order of the court or otherwise) that upon being divorced, she change back to her maiden name? Does anyone care for this hapless woman, who is once again left with no identity of her own? Where does it put such a woman in the society?

I do not even accept in the concept of changing names, so let her live with her own identity from birth till her life unless if she wishes to change or not!

4. Do you think that such a name change is necessary, or even should be permitted…….at all, in our society today, where women have reached every nook and cranny that man once monopolized?

I do not think so there is any compulsion or necessity! Every one have their own freewill and accord. I do not agree that man once monopolized, instead he was a cover/shield to protect women, which now a days have changed and is trying to gain falsely, if a man luvs his mother, affectionately surrenders to the Luv of his daughter, why is this discrimination only shown towards his wife!!!

Many more painful questions come

Basic education and moral would eliminate more of the painful question and only with basic education and moral there will be no need of answers to your painful questions!!!

Now a days these change in name comes into act only for acquiring wealth, either it be the wife or husband!!! I do not agree that name change alone can solve any issues its the LUV which can!!!

Dear Anita, Your thoughtful questioning of our Indian System/Customs…be they legal or social…shows your awareness and willingness to change…keeping with the times! That is really good!!!

You must keep in mind that divorce (at least the legal aspect of it) is not a traditional thing. In many communities the elders settle such scores. We are now following the West by formalising it through courts. And, in Urban India the cases are increasing at an alarming rate. On many issues, courts still have no clue…they either go by precedent or revert back to Religious codes.

1. As for name-changing after marriage, this is mostly prevalent among Hindus! I am a Sikh. I wasn’t required to change my name and I haven’t! I’m still known by the name I was given by my parents. Yet, in Mumbai, I’m asked to add my husband’s name after mine, in some documents! So this could be regional too! In Delhi, my hometown, nobody expects you to, even among Hindus!

2. Man gains nothing…but as I said, its the usual practice among some Hindus…its what a woman gains, alongwith a mangalsutra and sindoor!!! You need to raise your voice against customs…

3. What identity do you want the woman to have? Once divorced, she’s no longer her husband’s appendage (if that’s what is being implied!). She has to create her own identity!!! Why would she need her husband’s name after being detached from him?!? Wouldn’t she feel better to be rid of that unpleasant relationship???

4. Name change is not necessary…its the mindsets that need changing!!! Woman should be allowed to keep her name.

Women need to be made aware of pitfalls in marriage. Most enter into it expecting to find eternal bliss…that’s hardly what marriage entails…

Uh, there are several issues you’re mixing up here. Strictly speaking, unless they remarried, then they are not currently married. That’s true. However, it is not your job to run around correcting what everyone else says. Nor is it any of YOUR business whether or not they marry. As for your feelings, why make yourself unhappy over something that has nothing to do with you?

With my limited brain, I don’t understand, does court not have any better job than to decide what last name an individual uses? I really don’t understand when millions of cases are pending in the court, respected judge is wasting time in deciding the surname of a female? In my opinion, this case of the candidate to be rejected at initial plea itself.

The decision sounds totally unconstitutional to me. Indian Constitution gives us:

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship

And Indian Constitution also gives us “Right to freedom” that enables our “Freedom of speech and expression”.

According to Indian Constitution, a female or male can change there surname law fully whenever they want. I really don’t understand, what does the literate judge mean by “Divorced wife cannot use husband’s surname”? When Indian constitution allows one to use any surname then how can Indian Judiciary stop someone to use any surname?

I have no intentions to insult or go against Indian judiciary but my understanding does not allow me to agree to this decision. I find Indian constitution more relevant in this aspect and practical. A person for all intense and purposes, should ahve freedom to use any surname, name as far as that person changes it lawfully.

It is the custom due to which Married women in India used to have their husband name included with their name.It is not forced upon anybody.It is the individual choice.The specific case referred to above is not because of ego but due to misuse of her divorced husband name even after separation thereby putting him in an embarrassing position.To relieve him from embarrassing position,High court has decided like this.

I don’t think a woman should be allowed to keep an ex husbands name. He’s not your husband anymore, you shouldn’t have a name of a man you aren’t married to.
I also wonder what kind of a woman would WANT to keep an ex’s name. I wouldn’t.
I know some women who have kept an ex’s name, but it was more because it’s a hassle to go to the courthouse and legally change a name, so they just keep it for a while.


1. Contrary to the idea that the change of name is based on Hindu, the origin takes itself from British. Once a girl gets married to some man, she will get her husbands family name added to her name by default. They call her by that name only.

(e.g) Most people call Mitchell as Ms. Obama

In contrary, Indian names mostly end with their caste

2. Nothing….
Infact this culture is derived from Europe. We call Gandhiji’s wife as Kasthuri Bai not Kasthuri Bai Gandhi…
You can clearly see the difference..
Only after European adoption, the names got changed.. Indra became Indra Gandhi

3. This is the mistake in the women’s part. As in other countries, they should have their husbands name as last name.

4. The name yoou get represents your individuality and uniqueness. Hence, name change is not required.

1. the “idea originated” from when women were considered property. When she was born, her father owned her, and when she was married, her husband owned her… That’s how life was “back in the day”…
2. These days anyone can legally change their name to anything, so kudos to modern-soceity for that.
3. My sister kept the guy’s name after the divorce, because it was her kids’ names too and she’d had it for so long. It doesn’t really matter which she chooses, it usually depends on which name she likes better.
4. These days, they can elect to hyphenate names, keep their original names, or both take the womans’ name… OR legally change it to whatever they like…

As for the article, it’s not that she’s introducing herself as “Mrs Smith” when her maiden name is Jones… It’s that she’s putting HIS NAME on documents and calling herself married…. That’d be like putting your ex’s name on your car loan, then not making your payments… The car gets repo’d but the ex gets a black mark on his/her credit report….

Does anyone else get that the name she’s using isn’t “his last name” it’s “his full name” on documents listed as her husband… She’s acting like she’s still married to him and she’s putting his full name on documents, as if they both filed said documents jointly… Like jointly filing taxes or applying for a mortgage with someone you are not married to, but claiming you are… She likes the perks of married life and wants him to continue supporting her, with or without his knowledge and consent…

The court’s demand isn’t “stop calling yourself Mrs ____” it’s “STOP forging your ex-husband’s signature on documents and listing him as your husband!”

An interesting question!

I feel the court can very well deliver verdict to that effect provided the court also can also ensure the restoration of wife’s virginity upon allowing divorce!

When virginity cannot be restored it is unfair to force her not to use the name & surname who tampered the virginity!

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