Name Change After or During a Divorce Case

If you are getting divorced and want to change your name to back to your maiden name, you can usually do that in your divorce case. The process is usually straightforward.

Choose the option below that best describes your situation:



If your divorce is final and was granted in California

Follow the steps below if your divorce is final and was granted in California:

  1. Contact the court clerk in the county where the case was filed. Click to find your court's website and contact information
  2. Give the court clerk the case number, case name (names of the parties), and the date of the order/judgment/filing, if possible. Include a copy of your Notice of Entry of Judgment (Family Law — Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-190), if possible.
  3. Complete an Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment and Order (Family Law) (Form FL-395). Include a self-addressed, stamped, return envelope, if necessary.

Usually the court will be able to process your paperwork within 2 to 4 weeks. Ask the clerk at your local court for an estimate of how long it will take.

If you have any questions, contact the family law facilitator or a lawyer. The family law facilitator may also be able to review your forms to make sure you filled them out properly.

If your divorce is NOT yet final

  • If you are getting divorced in California and the divorce is not final yet, you can ask the court to restore your name to your former name. You can ask for this when you submit your proposed Judgment (Form FL-180) for divorce. Talk to your local family law facilitator to find out how to do this.
  • If you want to change your name to something other than your maiden name or to a prior married name you used in the past, then you have to follow the steps for filing a Petition for Change of Name.

If your divorce was NOT in California

If your divorce was NOT in California, you have 2 options:

  1. Contact the court that ordered your divorce and find out if there is a simple process for you to change your name in that divorce case even if you no longer live in that state,

    OR

  2. Follow the steps to file a regular Petition for Change of Name in your local California superior court.

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