Surnames following Marriage

Surnames following Marriage

Following the legal amendments in 2017, spouses who get married after the 1st September 2017 can either:

  1. Adopt for both of them the surname of either one of the parties to the marriage, or
  2. Adopt for both of them the surnames of both parties in the order of their choice (maximum 4 surnames), or
  3. Retain their own surname.

If the spouses adopt a common surname (as per '1' or '2') that common surname shall be regarded as the Family Name. Should the parties opt to retain their own surnames, they have to declare which of their surnames will serve as the Family Name

The children's surname shall be that of the Family Name.

Prior to the 2017 Amendments

On contracting marriage the wife could either:

  1. adopt the surname of the husband, after which the wife could have added her maiden surname or the surname of her predeceased spouse, or
  2. retain her maiden surname or the surname of her predeceased spouse after which she could have added her husband surname.

The children used to be given the father's surname after which they could have added their mother's surname previous to marriage.


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