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Alberta family law: When it's all in a name

Decades ago, it was a given that, when a couple married, the wife would take her husband's last name. Fast forward to the 21st century, and that is not always the case with Alberta couples. Issues attached to marriage in the province fall under family law, and those include name changes. Women don't always change their surnames once married. Sometimes, a man takes his wife's surname, or the couple takes on a different name together, but whatever the case, they have to adhere to the rules.

People who choose to change their names after getting married must also have their identification changed. These are things like a driver's licence, provincial health card and other things like credit cards. Institutions will want to see the marriage licence before making any changes. In Alberta, an individual's name won't change on a birth certificate after the person marries.

The same process goes for changing back to a maiden name from a married name. The same organizations should be contacted, and a marriage certificate will have to be presented, along with a birth certificate. Some people want to revert to their birth surnames after they've divorced or separated.

A lawyer who has experience with family law issues in Alberta would be able to answer questions that often go hand-in-hand with marriage or divorce, like name changes. Alberta's laws may not be like those of other provinces, so getting a lawyer's advice regarding these issues might be wise. A lawyer is also able to point out what documentation a client would need in these instances or offer advice when there might be a problem.   

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