Changing your name after marriage is a big deal, and it’s not something that you can just do without thinking about the consequences.
You need to know what happens if you have a divorce or get married again before changing your name – though, it’s understandable if this isn’t something you want to think about fresh into a marriage.
This article will explain how to change your name after marriage in California. So, let’s get to it!
What is the Process of Changing My Name After Marriage in California?
The process for changing your name after marriage in CA is pretty straightforward:
Go to the county clerk’s office where you got married (or where you live now) and ask them to issue a new certificate with your new last name on it. They may charge you a fee for doing so.
If you are getting divorced, then you’ll also need to go to the court where the divorce was filed and request a new certificate. The court will likely require proof that you’ve changed your name legally.
If you are getting remarried, then you don’t need to go through any additional steps. You already have a new legal name and all you need to do is sign the paperwork at the courthouse.
There are some exceptions to this rule, but they’re rare. For example, if you were adopted as an infant, then you cannot change your name unless you are adopted by someone who has the same surname as you.
Also, if you are married to someone whose last name is different from yours, then you can only change your name if you both agree to it. If you are married to someone else, then you must file for a legal separation first.
Can I Change my Name Without Getting Married Again?
Yes, you can change your name without marrying again. This is called “changing your name alone.”
To do this, you must provide documentation showing that you have legally changed your name. This includes things like:
- A copy of your current driver’s license or state ID card
- A certified copy of your birth certificate
- A certified copy of a document from the Social Security Administration which shows that your SSN has been changed.
- A certified copy of a document showing that you have changed your name legally
Once you have provided these documents, you can apply for a new driver’s license, passport, bank account, etc. with your new name.
What Happens If I Get Married Again?
If you are already married when you want to change your name, then there are two things that happen:
You cannot change your name until you file for a divorce.
Once you file for a divorce, you must wait six months before you can legally marry someone else.
You Can Still File For Divorce
The first thing that happens is that you cannot legally change your name until you have filed for a divorce.
You may be able to go through with the wedding ceremony and change your name later, but once you file for divorce, you cannot legally change your last name.
This means that you cannot legally take on another husband or wife unless you file for a divorce first.
Changing Your Last Name
When you file for a divorce in California, you must wait six (6) months before you can legally remarry.
During this time, you can still legally use your maiden name as your new last name. However, you cannot legally use your current spouse’s last name as your new last name.
In other words, if you were married to John Smith and now you want to get married to Jane Doe, then you would not be allowed to use John’s last name as your new name. Instead, you’d have to choose a new last name of your own choosing.
However, if you are already married to someone else, you can legally change your name after filing for a divorce.
What is the California Name Equality Act?
California passed the California Name Equality Act in 2015. The act allows people who are legally married to each other to change their names together.
It also prevents courts and government agencies from requiring you to use your former spouse’s last names.
For example, if you are married and want to change your name to Bob Jones, you can do so by filing for a divorce. Once you’ve done that, you can legally change the name on all of your official records.
Will I Need to Change Your Name on Official Documents?
Yes, you will need to change your name on any official documents that you sign.
- Your driver’s license
- Any state IDs that you use to access public services
- Any credit cards that you use
- Any mortgage papers that you sign
- Any legal contracts that you sign
- Any utilities bills that you receive
- Any insurance policies that you buy
- Any property deeds that you sign
- Any tax forms that you fill out
- Any court filings that you make, etc.
Why Do People Change Their Name Once They Become Married?
People often change their names because they feel like it. Some people even change their names just because they think it sounds cool.
But changing your name is more than simply wanting to sound cooler. There are many reasons why people change their names.
Some people change their names because they don’t want to be associated with their past lives. Others change their names because they want to start over. And some people change their names because their previous name was too difficult to pronounce.
Most of the time when it comes to marriage, however, people change their names to that of their spouse to become connected to them.
If you plan to marry someone, then you may want to consider taking their last name or at least using their middle initial. You should definitely talk about this with your partner ahead of time.
You should also discuss what you’ll do if one of you wants to change his/her last name after getting married. If both of you agree to take each other’s last name, then you won’t need to worry about this issue.
But if you disagree, then you’ll need to come up with an agreement as to how you’re going to handle this situation.
You might also want to check whether there are any laws against changing your name once you’re married. If there are, then you’ll need permission from your spouse before doing so.
In addition, you’ll probably want to check whether you can legally change your first name after becoming married. This depends on where you live.
In most states, it’s illegal to change your first name after you get married unless you have a court order allowing you to do so.
However, in California, you can legally change your name without having to go through a court process.
So, if you decide to change your name after marrying someone, you’ll need to check whether you can do so in your area.