Now married women in Maharashtra do not need to change their names or surnames after they get married – unless they choose too. More and more women are choosing not to.
It is now perfectly legal for a woman to retain her maiden name after marriage. The Bombay high court recently amended a crucial rule under the Family Courts Act to prevent a woman from being compelled to file any marriage-related proceedings only in her husband’s surname, thus offering relief to many seeking a divorce. It will also help a married woman file proceedings in other courts under her maiden name, say legal experts.
The radical rule says that “a wife who has not changed her name after marriage, by publishing in the official gazette, may continue to use her maiden name”. The law is clear now: a woman is not obliged to take her husband’s name after marriage. [Read more]
One good thing about women not changing their names is they continue to carry the family name like actor Kalki Koechlin said, “It’s still ‘Kalki Koechlin’… I’d never want to let go of Koechlin; that’s who I am. Besides, I’m the only child, and it’s like my family legacy, I can never give it up.” [Read more here.]
Since Indian parents’ male child preference is also based on family name being carried forward, it might help if women kept their names and pass a part of their names (first name, second name) to their children. It’s already being done and I am sure our future generations will wonder how we allowed mothers’ names to be completely excluded from children’s name.
The Law On Names
* A wife may continue to use her maiden name if she has not changed it officially after marriage
* A wife can file for divorce in her maiden surname; married surname; any other name she may have adopted and officially gazetted
* A woman can continue using her former married surname, except if her intention is to defraud the ex
Note: I am starting a new tag in response to a comment complaining that I seem to see nothing good in India. Now if you click here, you will be able to read all the posts tagged ‘What I love about my country’ 🙂