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Bill seeks to allow women revert to their maiden names without court order

MANILA, Aug. 2 — Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has filed a measure which seeks to allow women to revert to their maiden names even without judicial court order in cases of legal separation and dissolution of marriage, among others.

Under her House Bill no. 6082 called “Reversion to Maiden Name Act”, a woman may revert to her maiden surname after a decree of legal separation, annulment of marriage, nullity of marriage or divorce without going through a judicial process but only administratively through the Office of Civil Registrar.

Arroyo said her bill “deletes the tedious and expensive court process” associated with the reversion of their surname.

“Despite the laws and jurisprudence on the matter, there is still an incomplete realization of the woman’s right to continue using her maiden name,” she said.

“Domestic situations such as legal separation, separation de facto and such other similar instances are areas where women may still be required to recourse to a court process for change of name in order to revert to the use of their maiden name,” she added.

The bill allows a woman to revert to her maiden surname on the following circumstances:

(1) after her marriage has been judicially declared null and void or after its annulment;

(2) After a judicial declaration of legal separation, provided that there has been no manifestation of reconciliation filed with the court;

(3) After a judicial declaration of separation of property, provided there has been no subsequent decree reviving the old property regime between the spouses;

(4) If the spouses stipulated in their marriage settlement that a regime of separation of properties shall govern their property relations;

(5) If the petitioner has been de facto separated from or abandoned by her husband for a period of not less than 10 years;

(6) If the petitioner’s husband may be presumed dead.

The reversion may be be carried out through a petition with Civil Registrar General. (FMC with Dwight Sunico-OJT/PNA)

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