Legal Question in Family Law in California

Can I legally change back to maiden name without going through court

Asked on 7/23/12, 12:35 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Well, all depends on what you mean by "legally." It is legal to call yourself whatever you want as long as it is not in an effort to defraud, evade just debts, commit a crime, etc. "Alias" and "aka" have a criminal taint to them, but in fact they are perfectly legal if used for legal purposes. You can generally get your DMV record changed without a formal legal name change, and then the Social Security Administration will accept it. From there pretty much any account or business dealing can be changed to or done in the new name. On the other hand, if you want all legal records to reflect your new name, and for it to be officially recognized as your legal name, rather than technically being an alias or aka, then you do have to go to court.

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Answered on 7/23/12, 1:07 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

What Mr. McCormick refers to is the common law name change. You can call yourself whatever you want. If you want to get your driver's license and other official records changed, you are going to have to go to court.

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Answered on 7/23/12, 1:10 pm
Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro

In the post 9/11 world it is best to go through the courts. Otherwise it may come back to bite you. For example some day you may want a passport but you may be unable to get it unless you have documents in your legal name. The same is true for bank accounts, etc.

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Answered on 7/23/12, 4:51 pm

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