"Formals" bothers me because there's already a term for what they are: "honorifics."
It's true that many people aren't familiar with the word, but they won't be familiar with "formals" either, since you made it up. Either way, if you go into it in your story, you would have to write it in a way that would explain it.
You could also call them "titles", since it seems like they're used in the place of their name.
There is something about "formals" that strikes me as ignorant. I'm not saying that it is; it just would seem to me, as a reader, that if an author was aware of these other terms, they would use them rather than make up something so awkward.