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Understanding the Rights of Married Women to Use Their Maiden Names in the Philippines

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

Introduction

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In the Philippines, the rights of married women to use their maiden names are clearly defined by law. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of these rights and the importance of maintaining one's identity and making personal choices.


Understanding the Civil Code and Supreme Court Ruling


Article 370 of the Civil Code provides three options for a married woman regarding her name. She may use her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, her maiden first name and her husband’s surname, or her husband’s full name, prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”


However, the Supreme Court, in the case of Remo v. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, clarified that a woman is not limited to these three options. She is allowed to use not only any of the three names provided in Article 370, but also her maiden name upon marriage. This interpretation aligns with the principle that surnames indicate descent and highlights the importance of maintaining one's identity.


Benefits of Using Maiden Names


Your surname is more than just a label; it represents your lineage, heritage, and family history. It is an integral part of your identity, and you should have the right to decide how you want to be addressed, even after marriage.


Addressing Obligations and Societal Pressures


Societal pressures for married women to take their husband's surname are prevalent. However, it should be a personal choice rather than an expectation or obligation imposed by society.


Legal Matters and Options for Married Women


At Lawyers Online PH, we're your resource for connecting with legal professionals. If you have any inquiries or concerns about reverting to your maiden name or addressing other legal matters, we can help match you with seasoned attorneys ready to provide the necessary assistance and advice.


Conclusion


Whether you want to keep your maiden name, adopt your husband's surname, or even combine them, remember that it's YOUR choice. Don't let anyone else dictate how you want to be addressed. Let's embrace our freedom and individuality, starting with our names.


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