A Guide To Seeking A Name Change After Divorce Or Marriage In California

November 15, 2022

No one can make you change your name but if you want to, you should know more about the procedures and requirements to succeed. People most often change their names when they either start or finish their marital relationships or in any other cases up to their needs and preferences. 

Whether you opt for changing name after divorce California or taking the name of your beloved as a result of a marriage, review the guidelines on any of the processes to avoid complications. 

Why Change Your Name After Marriage Or Divorce

With marriage, it is pretty obvious. Women will mostly take their husbands’ names to claim the seriousness of their relationships and their devotion to marriage. Plus, the same name symbolizes family unity. Children usually feel disoriented with their parents have different names, mind this fact, too.

When the marriage ends, women often strive to turn back to their old name or pick up a new one so that they can feel the start of new life to the fullest. 

Yet, many are determined to stick to the same name despite their marriage or divorce happening. They either do not want a different name from their kids or got used to their name as well as their acquaintances. Anyway, beware that having the same name as your ex may affect your credit score when they have financial troubles. 

How To Change Name After Marriage 

Getting a name change in California after marriage is the simplest procedure possible. If you want to know every little detail of the process, consult your local social security office for detailed information. You can visit the office with an already prepared doc pack. Here are what you may need in such a situation:

  • Marriage certificate – you can expect to have a certified copy of it in two weeks after you file your marriage license following your marriage. 
  • Personal identification – here you can use any doc that can identify you by photo. In most cases, they use a driver’s license. If you lack one, exploit your state ID card. A passport or military ID will do well, too.
  • Birth certificate – any doc that proves your age will pass also, but a birth certificate is the most common option.

As soon as you collect the necessary documents, you may head to a social security office to appeal for a name change. After your papers are verified, you will be given a certification approving your name change. You may use it to update your driver’s license and any other docs or data necessary.

How To Change Name After Divorce

The process of name change after divorce California depends on the surrounding circumstances largely. The simplest situation is when you get divorced in California. Then you need to request a name change at the very same court you dealt with your divorce straight after or even several years following your marriage termination. You can take your previous name, maiden name, or any other lawful name you used to own. Besides, you can have a name change included in the divorce process so that you will get the desired name together with the divorce decree. 

If you happen to get your marriage terminated in a different state, for example, have a cheap divorce in Mississippi, you may have to reach for the court your divorce took place at. Commonly, the procedure will be fast and not complicated, but you can get more info at that very court you need.

What Updates To Make

To avoid any ambiguity and precision in your personal papers, it is highly recommended to update your docs and data about you after you change name back or acquire a new name. These are the obligatory docs to update:

  • state ID card
  • driver’s license, if you have any
  • social security card.

Other papers to take care of are:

  • passport and/or visa
  • voter registration
  • payroll and administration records
  • military or veteran papers, if you have any
  • any licenses
  • financial records
  • legal docs
  • insurance papers
  • bills.

The list may differ depending on your situation. But it is in your interest to cover all the updates as soon as possible so that you have all the necessary papers and records in order. Otherwise, when you reach them later, you may drag out any procedure with the need to update your changed name, in addition. 


The name change is usually not a complicated process. It can often be included in another official procedure you are going through, for example, marriage or divorce. You should only decide on whether you need and want a name change and go for it according to the local lawful procedure. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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