Though it has been customary for the new wife to adopt her husband’s name, after divorce, the former spouse may have many reasons to return to her birth name. This situation is probably best addressed at the time of the divorce.
You can request that the judge handling your divorce make a formal order restoring your former or birth name. If your divorce decree includes such an order, that will provide sufficient documentation of your name change.
Ask the court clerk for certified copies of the order as proof of the name change. You can then use this official documentation to have your name changed on your identification such as driver’s license, ATM cards, and other personal records.
If you have an existing divorce decree that doesn’t have the order that restores your birth name , you may be able to have the decree modified to include such an order. In California, this is possible even after the divorce is final. You should request a form entitled “Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment of Order (FL-395)” from the court or on the internet. You must file this form along with one copy of your judgment (final decree) with the court. You may file this document either in person or by mail. If you file by mail, be sure to enclose a self-addressed envelope.
If you have documentation showing your birth name, such as a birth certificate or an old passport you can probably resume using that name with out going through modification of your divorce decree. You should request that your name be changed on all your personal records including financial accounts, credit cards, etc. and begin using your former name consistently.
If you’re returning to a name you had before marriage, you’re far less likely to encounter difficulties with the change than if you adopt a completely new name, but you may still face some problems in returning to a previous name. This is more likely if you are a newly naturalized citizen or if you lack reliable documentation of your former name.
If you have a question regarding Family Law in California please contact us at (818) 926-4420 or visit the Family Law section on our website at Law Offices of Anat Resnik. Call today and we will connect you with Anat Resnik, an experienced, aggressive, affordable Divorce and Family Law Attorney in California. After you have spoken with our California Family Law attorney, we can schedule you a free face to face appointment to discuss your circumstances. If you have questions or are considering any aspect of filing for Divorce, a Paternity issues, Child Custody and Visitation, Spousal Support & Alimony, etc. we can help! Call us now at(818) 926-4420. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any and all family law needs.