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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23071
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Is my girlfriend aged 54 last May still married? Name Vivian

Customer Question

Is my girlfriend aged 54 last May still married?
Name Vivian ****** married name
Birth name Vivian ******* born Auckland N Z
Currently living in Hastings since January previously in London SE13 working at L and Q Housing
John ******
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

There is no law which says that you have to keep using any particular surname. So even if you have been married you can continue to use the married name, and you can revert back to the previous name at any time. There is no law which says that you have to change your name when you get married, and so some continue to use their maiden name. So someone can easily change their name back to their maiden name just by using the name, although generally you do need to take some more formal steps with some documents such as the passport. If you want to check whether she is married or not, you would need to check with the registry where she got married, whether that was in the United Kingdom or New Zealand. That is not an open registry to search so you would need to contact the country where she got married and check the information from their Births Deaths and Marriages departments. I don't have access to that information as you generally have to pay a fee for the search.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks.
I have checked employment records and the electoral roll in the UK and yes she has a married name up to January 2016.
Nothing illegal but just a bit of a shock to find out someone you are dating still has a husband and not yet divorced yet.
I am putting it all behind me as I prefer to be upfront with a partner and expect the same.
Perhaps naive but I like a straightforward life.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Its pretty easy to get divorced in New Zealand, and I think also in the UK. But certainly it does seem as though she may not have done so yet,