In order to change your name after getting a divorce in California, you will need to take the following steps:
1. Complete an, “Ex-parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment and Order. FL-395. Indicate the case number, the date that the judgment of dissolution of marriage was entered and the former name that you would like to restore. Type in your current name and signature. Two-hole punch the original and attach 3 copies to the form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) so that the court can mail the copies back to you.
2. Call or check with the court’s website to see if there are any fees that must be paid when filing divorce forms. Take the completed form/copies/SASE to the court for filing.
3. When you receive the stamped court-endorsed copy of the “Ex-parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment and Order in the mail, the next step is to get a certified copy of the judgment. Attach a copy of the court-stamped Ex parte Application for Restoration of Former Name along with any necessary court fees for certified copies. Call the court records dept. and ask if you can mail this form along with a letter to the court requesting a certified copy of the judgment or if this must be done in person. If the court allows you to mail it, attach a self-addressed stamped envelope that is large enough to fit the entire judgment and Marital Settlement Agreement so that the court can mail it back to you.
4. Once the certified copy of the judgment is received, you will show that copy (along with a copy of the “Ex-parte Application for Restoration of Former Name) to the DMV, the Social Security Dept, etc., to complete your name change on all records.
If you are not yet divorced, or in the middle of the divorce process, and would like to restore your former name, this is easy to do. Simply place a checkmark on the front page of the Judgment #4(f) that you would like to restore your former name and fill in the name. You will need to call the court to find out if there is a fee for a certified copy of the judgment. Write a letter to the court telling them that you are requesting a certified copy of the Judgment and attach a check if necessary. Once the judgment is entered by the court be sure to check that the court actually certified a copy. It is a red stamp usually on the back of the last page of the judgment or on the signature page of the judgment. You will take the entire certified copy of the judgment and the Ex parte application for restoration of former name with you to the DMV, Social Security office, etc., as they will need to see the court stamped copy plus the red certification stamp.