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swatikulkarni   11 November 2017

Can divorced wife use two surnames ?

Situation: Husband and Wife are divorced. Wife filed maintenance case (HMA24 and 25). Court passed order to provide 1BHK to wife and pay Rs.10,000/- PM.  After passing order, husband came to know his ex-wife is working in one of the private company. Husband is collecting proof of her job.

Divorced wife filed maintenance case on husband with her surnames AFTER marriage. Her signature is also shows her surnames after marriage.

But wife is working in the private company with her surnames BEFORE marriage. Her signature is also shows her surnames before marriage.

This means, Divorced wife is using both surnames  and both signatures at the same time to make it difficult for husband to trace her job.

Question: Can divorced wife use two surnames that is before and after marriage at the same time?

If husband want to file criminal complaint, what is section (CRPC) please?

Thanks in advance,



 9 Replies

Vijay Raj Mahajan (Advocate)     11 November 2017

A person can use two names and surnames at the sametime, nothing unlawful in this. The same person is using two names or surnames has to be identified in order to prove his or actual identity in the court. The wife use previous surname for job can because of her educational certificates/degrees which were having her surname which she had before her marriage. The surname the lady kept after the marriage was that of her husband, but even after her divorce that surname continued because she was know to many by her new surname.

There is nothing criminal if she is using two different surnames at the same time, if she can be identified as same person who was divorced and awarded maintenance and alimony by the court although she was working and having income, get the relief that you so desire to get order to stop her maintenance per month after her having source of independent income..

1 Like

Siddharth Srivastava (Advocate)     11 November 2017

As such law is silent on this aspect. There is no bar5. If a wife has obtained maintenance by concealing his earning from services then the case of perjury is made out and maintenance can also be stopped.

1 Like

swatikulkarni   11 November 2017

Mr. Vijay Sir and Mr. Sidharth Sir : Thank you for your inputs. Beautifully explained !!


Samir N (General Queries) (Business)     12 November 2017

Wife can use any name but cannot use the husband's surname if he objects. Actually it gets more complicated than that... If husband can establish that wife is abusing his name, then she is stopped from using the same.  There is a Bombay High Court case in this regard Shewale vs. Shewale... You can check on the net for details.  It was affirmed by the Supreme Court. There is another case which is just the opposite... also of the Bombay High Court regarding some passport officer objecting to the wife using her husband's surname post-divorce. The facts of the two cases are different. Key is... if the husband objects to the use of his surname for some valid reasons, the wife will be restrained from doing so. However, he has to file a petition to restrain you and prevail. Until then, use whatever name that suits you... including Kulkarni, Nadkarni, Mukherjee, Khan, D Souza, Tata or even Ambani... Even better Trump? Swati (or whatever your first name is) Trump! -:) 


Section 464 IPC applies. Very grave offence of using various names and projecting as a different person at different times and places.

2 years jail term plus fine or both.


If person has taken undue advantage of using various names and got compensation from court, such will be returned along with interest, plus fine plus jail term for fooling court.  7 years jail term.

Senior advocate Mr Vijay dont know why he has replied like that above.

Vijay Raj Mahajan (Advocate)     12 November 2017

Mr. Raj Malhotra how you blame me for the reply given by me. How section 464 IPC come in play in this case? The same person is using two sur names (one her sur name before marriage which she got from her father and one after marriage, i.e of her ex-husband), this by itself not any crime. If the ex-husband had objection for her using his sur name that he should have mentioned or sought injunction order in the Family Court case proceedings. The Bombay High Court judgement in Shewale vs. Shewale case too was with regard to injunction order sought by the ex-husband for using his sur name by divorced wife that was allowed. In the present case no such injunction sought by the ex-husband for use of his sur name by ex-wife in the Family Court, so how ex-wife is to be blamed for it.

If she got order for maintenance using her ex-husband's sur name as being his divorced wife and job using her father's surname which she had in her educational certificates/degrees, how she is telling any lies in the court on this account? 

Yes if she is hiding her job and income and misrepresenting about it than she can be prosecuted for making false statement on oath, under section 193 IPC.

Please clear your own legal information before blaming me here.

1 Like


Technically a woman can use fathers name as surname or husbands name as surname.
She has to use husbands name as surname after marriage.
If she got divorced she can continue using her fathers name as surname.
If divorce proceeding is going on, she should use husbands name as surname.
But there is no hard and fast rule as to this.
What is inscribed in her SSC marks card or SSLC marks card is her name, provided she got her name changed to her husbands name after marriage through court and applied for new markscards with husband name as surname.  Then that name with husbands name will be her new name.

Once done like that, she has to use what is the changed name as per court order.

In absence of the above procedure, she can use whichever name, both fathers name or husbands name anywhere she wants.

It is matter of time, that one can prove that both persons are the same.
This can be done via identification of recent 4x6 colour photograph.  If she is working woman, and has done mischief like above, file a application asking summoning the employer, along with summons send latest photograph where she is standing next to husband.

Court wont tolerate liars.  It appears that she has done it on purpose.  Court if ordered alimony, will cancel it via appropriate application by husband.

Husband can also file perjury and her employer can terminate her from job for lying and also file case on her as I told above.  Private organizations simply accommodate abala naaris.  If wife loses job, still husband has to pay alimony to wife n kids.


But after divorce wife cannot use the former husbands name as surname, she can continue using her fathers name as surname.  If she uses former husbands name, she can be draged to court.

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