There are many different reasons aside from getting married or divorced that you may want to change your last name. For example, you may want to change a name in conjunction with an adoption proceeding, or if you want to change your name back to your maiden name for work purposes, or if you want to change your name a few months or years after your marriage license is file.
The first step in changing your name in California is to determine which County is your primary residence. This does not have to be the County where you have property, but you do need to show that you have the intent to be a resident in that County. Documents that can be used to establish residency include:
• Utility bill dated within the last 30 days • Local property tax statement or mortgage payment receipt dated within the last 30 days • Bank account statement dated within the last 30 days • Proof of a minor currently enrolled in a San Francisco school • Current San Francisco Golf Resident Card • Employment pay stub dated within the last 30 days • Written ruling, order or notice from the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board dated within the last 30 days • Jury summons or court order issued by a state or federal court and dated within the last 30 days • Federal or state income tax or refund statement dated within the last 30 days • Insurance bill (homeowner’s, renter’s, health, life or automobile insurance) dated within the last 30 days • Written verification issued by a homeless shelter that receives City funding confirming at least 15 days residency within the last 30 days • Written verification issued by a hospital, health clinic or social services agency that receives City funding confirming at least 15 days residency within the last 30 days • If a certified copy of a marriage certificate is presented at the time of application, an applicant may prove residency using documents bearing the name of his/her spouse
Once residency is established, then you need to check the local rules of that County to see how name changes are processed in that County. Each County has a different system.
Traditionally, you will need to file the following documents and obtain a judicial signature on the Order to Show Cause or NC 120
Civil Case Cover Sheet - CM-010
Petition for Change of Name - NC 100
Name and Information about the person whose name is to be changed
Order to Show Cause - NC 120
Decree Changing Name NC- 130
You will need to have the following information to fill out a name change:
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Gender as stated on original birth certificate
Current Residence address
Reason for change of name
The cost of a name change is a filing fee and the fee to publish the name change in a newspaper for four weeks.
Once you file the initial paperwork, the Court will set a hearing date, and you will return in approximately 6 weeks for a hearing on your change of name. If the change is not opposed, the Court will grant the order changing your name.
You can contact me at Amanda@gordonfamilylaw.com for more information.