Name Change After Divorce is often something you decide after the court case is over. And, it’s always an intensely personal decision, whether you think about it before or after the divorce. Once you have decided to change your legal name though, you probably want to know how to get it done in the easiest, surest and most cost-effective way. There are options, depending on your situation.
Name Change After Divorce –
Name Change Court Order Options After Divorce
There are three basic ways to accomplish your Name Change:
1. Have Your Name Change be part of your divorce decree.
2. Modify Your divorce decree.
3. Get a New Decree Changing Name from your California County Superior Court.
All three of these Name Change After Divorce options result in your having a Court Order establishing your New Name. That order can be certified in the same courthouse by the clerk. A Certified Copy of your Name Change After Divorce is what you’ll need to get your Social Security, Driver’s license, Passport, financial accounts, and other personal records changed over to your New Name.
Name Change Options After Divorce –
Where Do You Get Your Decree?
You get your Decree from Superior Court. Which Superior court? If you were divorced in California, then you might be able to get it from that same court without having to file a new case.
In California, women and men can both Change Names through marriage and after divorce. Name Change choices after divorce depend a little on whether and how Names were changed in marriage. However, regardless of the marriage Name Change choices, the set of possibilities for Name Change after divorce are these:
1. Retake a maiden/pre-marriage Last Name
2. Return to a birth Name or any earlier Legal Last Name
3. Take a New Name-First, Middle, and/or Last Name
More and more people are taking entirely New Names after divorce today than in earlier periods. The type of Name Change choice you make will determine which kind of court order you’ll need to pursue.
If you want to retake a maiden/pre-marriage Last Name, it will always be easiest and least costly to do it before your divorce is final so that the Decree includes your Name Change. If you’ve used an attorney, just make sure the attorney has your New Name included in the Divorce Decree forms the judge will be signing.
Many people divorcing decide to make this change after the divorce is over, and there’s usually no big problem or expense getting it done later. In California, use form FL-395 (ex parte application for restoration of former name after entry of judgment and order) to get your old Last Name back after divorce. You can look for the form here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/formnumber.htm. Your divorce decree should have all the data you need (court case number, date, etc.) to fill out the new form and you may be able to get your new court order signed very quickly.
Any California resident can use California’s Superior Court to Legally Change your Last Name, or any of Your Names, or ALL of Your Names at any time, even if one of the other Name Change routes is also available to you. Changing Your Last Name back to your Maiden Name after marriage can be done through Superior Court in the same exact way as if you were going to get your Maiden Name back, or take a completely New Name.
Superior Court Legal Name Change to Retake Maiden Name or for Entirely New First, Middle and/or Last Name Change After Divorce
If you’ve decided to take an entirely New Name for yourself after divorce, you’re free to do so. By the way, don’t let anyone tell you that you have to Change Your Name after divorce because you cannot be forced to Change Names. Legal Name Change, without the limitations imposed through the divorce decree process, is always available through Name Change Petition filed in your local County Superior Court. There are some restrictions and limitations such as: You can’t Change Your Name to avoid paying debts; Your Name Change can’t have the effect of defrauding; You can’t take a famous Name to trade on it; You can’t choose a name likely to incite hatred or bigotry. A Superior Court Judge will decide whether or not to give you a Decree Changing Name, by far most Petitions are approved, and that will be your official Name Change court order. This is the only type of Legal Name Change that allows you to take entirely different First, Middle and/or Last Names.
There are a quantity of forms to fill out for Superior Court Name Change Petition, which you can complete yourself, have an attorney represent you and complete, or hire a registered and bonded service to do for you. Your Petition is filed in Superior Court and then you give the community notice of your intended Name Change by posting an ad in a legal notices newspaper for 4 consecutive weeks. At or before a hearing date you are usually able to receive your Decree Changing Name! This process does take a little longer and costs another court filing fee plus the cost of giving public notice, but the Decree Changing Name allows more types of Name Changes, lasts just as long, and works for every type of identification, account and records changing you want or need to do.
EZNamechange.com is a website devoted exclusively to Legal Name Change. Please click on the Home link (above) to get more Legal Name Change information or use our 15 minute questionnaire to complete your Legal Name Change Petition paperwork. We’re ready when you are!