There are a number of reasons to get a name change. Whether for family, work, or personal reasons, each years, thousands of California citizens get their names changed.
The process is not as complicated as you may think, and you do not even need a lawyer to get a name change.
- Fill Out the Forms. To get your name changed, you will need to fill out the right forms (see here) and file the with the court of the county in which you live. You will need two copies – one to file with the court and one to have published in a newspaper. Don’t forget the filing fees. If you need a waiver of the filing fees, you can request one. Once you file everything, the court clerk will stamp them as “filed” and give you a file-stamped copy. You will then receive an “Order to Show Cause” which will have your court date, time, department number, and hearing information for the hearing.
- Publish. You will need to publish the Order to Show Cause in a newspaper of general circulation, unless you are making the name change due to gender identity correction, or because you are the victim of stalking or sexual assault. The newspaper you select will publish it for you, once you provide them with the Order to Show Cause and pay the fee. Once the publication is made, print out a copy and save it for the court hearing.
- Court Hearing. On the day of your court hearing, bring the proof of publication, as well as the Decree Changing Name. The Court will then hear your case and hopefully order your name changed. Once you get your decree signed, you will need a certified copy from the court clerk. This certified copy can be used to change all of your legal documents, such as your birth certificate, social security card, driver’s license, etc.
Congratulations on your new name!
AXIS Legal Counsel is a general practice law firm based out of Los Angeles, California, focusing on the aggressive representation of individuals, business, and entertainment clients in a variety of legal matters. Our Individual Rights Practice represents individuals, families, and children on a variety of legal matters, including accidents and injuries, bullying and harassment, defamation and slander, employee rights, civil rights, privacy, lawsuits & disputes, and wills, trusts, and estates.