Divorced | Divorcée

How to Address a Divorcée?

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.

Currently divorced woman typically chooses one of the following:

—–#1)  Go back to her maiden name.  That works best if there are no children from the marriage

—–#2)  Use Ms. (Her Full Name)

—–If she prefers #2 and uses Mrs. (Her Given Name) (Married Surname) she’s choosing a form some sources suggest to be for a divorced woman. See etiquette authors Amy Vanderbilt, Emily Post, Cranes, Letitia Baldrige, etc.  See below.    How to Address a Divorcée


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

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. Perhaps she prefers 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 is identified as ‘traditional’ in etiquette books – and prefer 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  divorcee


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#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)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or 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, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”