After divorce, it’s natural to want to proclaim your new identity as a single person. If you changed your name to match your spouse when you got married, a simple way to do this is by changing it back.
However, actually changing your name can be complicated. Keep reading to learn why you might want to change your name after finalizing your split and how to get a name change after a divorce in California.
Why Update Your Name?
Your name is a fundamental part of your identity, so it should reflect who you are. Getting rid of your ex’s last name is an excellent way to reclaim your identity and make it clear that you’re no longer tied to them.
You can also change your name to feel connected to your family. After getting divorced, it’s easy to feel lost and lonely. Changing your name to match your family’s name after a divorce demonstrates that you value those relationships and reminds you that despite your breakup, you’re not alone.
The Name Change Process in California
In California, you can change your name during or after divorce. If you know you want to update your name and are still going through the proceedings, you can talk to your attorney. They will help you make the name change part of the overall proceedings, so your name will be officially changed once the split is finalized.
Changing your name after a divorce is final takes a little extra legal work, but it’s worthwhile.
- Collect documentation: California requires you to present qualified name change documents justifying why you’re changing your name. Your divorce decree counts for this. You should also gather your driver’s license with your current name.
- Fill out the correct form: If you want to return to a previous name, you’ll need to fill out form FL-395. If you’re taking a new name, you’ll need to submit different forms depending on the situation. Your lawyer can help you figure out which forms to fill out.
- Visit your California County Clerk’s Office: The fastest way to get your name change processed is to visit the county clerk’s office in the court district where you were divorced. You’ll submit your form and show them your documentation. If you have the correct information on hand, they’ll finalize your name update for the state.
- Get new IDs: Once your name is officially changed, you can get a new Social Security card and driver’s license. With these IDs, you can finalize your new name in every part of your life.
Move Past Divorce with a New Name
There’s no better time to reinvent yourself than after getting divorced. With a divorce decree, you don’t need to worry about getting a court order to change your name. You can return to your former name or choose a new one that fits your current identity without extra expense.
If you’re still confused, you can ask your divorce lawyer for help. The right attorney will guide you through every step of the process, including changing your name to something that feels right. You can learn more about the legal benefits of ending your marriage by scheduling a free consultation with the expert lawyers at Viola Law, PC.