Changing Your Name Under California Law
People change their names for a number of different reasons. Marriage and divorce are two of the most common causes for a name change, while others simply want to start over. Whatever your reason for changing your name, the attorneys at Kearney Baker can help to facilitate and expedite the process. Call our office today to learn more about the wide range of legal services we provide our clients in the Pasadena area.
Petitioning for a Name Change
In order to legally change your name in California, you must petition the court and receive a court order. This involves filing a petition for a Change of Name and can take up to three months to process through the courts without an experienced attorney by your side. Once the petition is filed, you will receive a court date to stand in front of a judge and make the petition. A lawyer can argue your petition to the court, and if granted, the court will give you a decree that changes your name.
Name Changes for Marriage or Divorce
If you are recently married or about to get married and wish to change your name, there are a couple of extra steps to the process. You will need to contact the DMV and Social Security office to make the request. Some offices are content with seeing your marriage license, while other offices may require a court decree before the documents are changed to your new name.
If you are getting a divorce and wish to change your name back from your married name, this process can be done in conjunction with the divorce case. As part of the final divorce settlement agreement, you can ask the court to order a decree that changes your name so you no longer have your married name. If your divorce is already final and you wish to change your name, you can file an Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name after Entry of Judgment and Order. Once the paperwork is filed, the process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month to finalize the name change with the courts. Regardless of where you are in the process, your lawyer can help you through the process of reverting back to your non-married name.
Reasons Why a Name Change is Denied
The court does not always automatically agree to a name change petition submitted to the court. Some of the most common reasons for denying a name change in California include being on parole or incarcerated. A name change might also be denied if the judge believes that you are attempting to hide from the law or trying to commit fraud by changing your name. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to make the case in court for why you should be allowed to change your name in California.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
To learn more about the process of legally changing your name in California, call or contact the office of Kearney Baker today to schedule a consultation with a qualified attorney.