When you get married, it is a common practice to change your surname into your husbands’. However, it turns out that this practice must not be forced as women can actually keep their maiden name even after getting married.

According to the law in the Philippines, there are three options that married women can partake when it comes to their name usage.

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) states that “a married woman has an option, but not a duty, to use the surname of the husband.” This was referred to Article 370 of the Civil Code states that married woman can use;

  • The maiden first name and surname then the husband’s surname
  • The maiden first name then the husband’s surname
  • The husband’s full name but with the prefix “Mrs” to indicate that she is his wife

Furthermore, Article 370 indicates the term “may use” instead of “should use”. Article 370 also states that a married woman can user their maiden name after marriage.

“She is not prohibited from continuously using her maiden name once she is married because when a woman married, she does not change her name but only her civil status,” states the law. “Furthermore, this interpretation is in consonance with the principle that surnames indicate descent.”

Consistency is also very important. For instance, if you have started using your husband’s surname in your passport, it is highly advisable not to change it so as to avoid complications in the future.

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