Divorced | Divorcée

NOTE:  Regarding ‘Mrs. (Her Given Name)+(His Family Name)’:
—–Traditional etiquette references state using Mrs. + (Woman’s Given name) + (Family name) is the form used by a divorced woman. She wants to keep using her former husband’s family name, but can no longer use Mrs. (Husband’s Given Name) (Family Name) because her former husband might have remarried and there would be a new Mrs. (Husband’s Given Name) (Family Name).  Thus, she uses her given name with Mrs.
—–But some still married women don’t care what was ‘traditional’ in etiquette books and like to use Mrs. (Woman’s Given name) (Family name)  … thus stating their marital status and including their given name.  For more on this see Mrs.vs. Ms.
———– Robert Hickey


How to Address a Divorcée?

You state Mrs. Jane Doe is the traditional form for a divorced woman.

A divorcée (how rarely we use that now!) is most formally Mrs. [Maiden Surname] [Married Surname].

Upon her divorce from the governor, Mary Todhunter Clark Rockefeller became Mrs. Clark Rockefeller.
———————– TMM

Dear TMM:
Formulas for how we create names is the domain of etiquette … and by definition etiquette is specific to a group.  The way flags are displayed at the Pentagon is fixed by international protocol.  How we name ourselves is a bit of a free-for-all where everyone invents whatever they think, and their group thinks, is appropriate.

When I see the form you suggest, my reaction is that is logical and must have been – maybe was – the tradition within a group. But, I have not encountered anyone using the Mrs. (Maiden Surname) (Married Surname) form. Then again, I am not hanging out with the Rockefellers.

Currently a divorced woman can

—–#1) go back to her maiden name, but that works best if there are no children from the marriage

—–#2) She can use Ms. (Full Name)

—–#3) If she wants to  use ‘Mrs.’ then – Mrs. (Her Given Name) (Married Surname) is the most frequently suggested form from today’s traditional etiquette diva’s [Amy Vanderbilt, Emily Post, Cranes, Letitia Baldrige, etc.] for a divorced woman.  Not that that makes it the law … but it tells me that among that influential group –they all think it’s clear.

—–#4) For more on this see Mrs. vs Ms. 

— Robert Hickey     How to Address a Divorcée

Not Finding Your Question Answered?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  After checking the list and reading the posts, if you don’t see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – always changing the names and specifics.

— Robert Hickey

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