How To Change Your Name Through California Divorce
If you are in the process of getting divorced, and prefer to revert back to the name you had before your marriage, it is possible to do so during or after the divorce. This process is generally a simple one. In case you have children, do keep in mind the impact which your decision to change your name will have on them. There is a greater chance that the children will continue to use the last name of the father post completion of divorce
Option #1: If divorce is already final and granted in California
You must complete the following steps in case the divorce is final or granted in California:
- Do contact the county court clerk where the divorce case is filed.
- Provide court clerk your case number, date of order or judgment or filing and case name. If it is possible, include copy of “Notice of Entry of Judgment (Family Law-Uniform Parentage-Custody and support) Form FL-190.
- Complete the “Ex-parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment and Order (Family Law) Form FL-395. Do include self-addressed return envelope complete with stamp if required.
The court generally processes the paperwork within a span of two to four weeks. If you are unsure about the time, do ask the clerk working at your local court for a time estimate. In case of any queries, ask your lawyer.
Option #2: If divorce is not yet completed
- In case you are getting a divorce in California and the process has still not been finalized, then it is possible for you to request the court to restore your earlier name. The best time to request this at the time of submission of divorce proposal (Form FL-180).
- In case you wish to change your name to something else other than the original name, then you must follow steps to file “Petition for Change of Name”.
Option #3: Petition for Change of Name in probate court
The court will take three months after you file the Petition for Change of Name the probate court, not family court. This involves a number of steps. You file the petition at first. After you do that, you will receive court date which can be six to 12 weeks later. You should meticulously follow all the needed steps. After your request is approved by the court, a “decree” or court order will be sent to you changing the name. Do understand that a few courts are busier than others and the process can be a little longer. The application could be tweaked a little if your name confirms your new gender identity, or in any other special situations. You must make sure you have read and understood everything.
Getting divorced in California can be complicated! Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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