Name declaration after divorce or death of a spouse

30.09.2021 - Article

The name of a German national does not change automatically by divorce or death of a spouse. However, after the divorce or death of a spouse, it is possible to change the name back to the maiden name or a previous married name by name declaration.

On our website you can find general information about the name declaration procedure. You must be present in person at the Embassy or with one of our Honorary Consuls, since your signature has to be certified in order for the name declaration to become valid.

If you would like to submit your name declaration with our Honorary Consul in Christchurch, please contact us beforehand:

At the appointment, the following documents are required as originals:

Please note that all New Zealand documents (such as birth certificates and marriage certificates) must carry a paper-apostille. These can be sent directly to the German Embassy. Information can be found here:

  • Completed name declaration form please write in capital letters and do not sign the declaration yet
  • Your valid passports or German identity card (Personalausweis)
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Proof that you bear a so called “married name” (Ehename) according to German law (name certificate from the German Registry Office, excerpt from the family book / Marriage Register or German marriage certificate)
  • Divorce decree absolute or death certificate of former spouse
  • Naturalisation certificate for naturalised German nationals or “Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis” (if applicable)
  • German deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung) from your last German place of residence or current registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung) from your most recent address in Germany
  • Translations of foreign documents (usually not required for English or “international” documents, for example international birth certificates)

Depending on the case more documents can become necessary or may subsequently be requested by the competent registry office (Standesamt) in Germany. In case you got divorced outside Europe like in New Zealand, the divorce might need to be formally recognised in Germany which requires a further procedure.


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