The process for an adult name change in California involves the filing of the petition, publication of the name change for 1 month and a court appearance. However, it is much simpler for a woman to change her name back to her birth name during the divorce process. If she is the petitioner, this can be done by checking the appropriate box on the divorce petition. Changing the name after marriage or after being divorced can be done by a form.
There are other reasons for an adult to change his or her name outside of marriage and divorce, and an Attorney should ask the reason. If there is a criminal record this will influence whether the court will allow it or not. Once the paperwork has been filed, a hearing date will be set. The publication of the name change must take place and be complete by the hearing date. The petitioner needs to go to the hearing with identification. Once the court approves the name change, the client is ready to contact the California Office of Vital Records for instructions as to how to change the birth certificate. Once changed, other items like Social Security Number, driver’s license, passport etc. can also be changed.
A name change for a minor requires the approval of both parents or the non-consenting parent must be served. If the whereabouts of the other parent is unknown, then a search for this parent must be performed. Once this portion is complete, a publication can be initiated.
The first step is to speak with the Attorney and file the appropriate paperwork. Then a publication is performed. The petitioner goes to court on the scheduled day. Once approved by the court, the petitioner would contact the California Office of Vital Records in order to change the birth certificate. Other agencies like Social Security Office can assist in updating information.
Watch Legal Action Workshop’s Video below about name changes in California.