Although divorce rates have been decreasing since the 80s, divorce is still very common in the United States. Approximately 45% of all marriages end in a divorce. If you’re going through a divorce, there are a number of things you’ll want to take into consideration. For example, you may have to decide whether you want to keep your married name, revert to your maiden name, or choose an entirely new name for your life ahead.

It’s important to understand how legal name changes work so that you’ll be able to use the name that you want to use. While laws regarding name changes vary by state, this information will allow you to plan for your name change.

During divorce proceedings, you’ll have the option of formally requesting a return to your maiden name. This request will have to be made in writing, and you will want to make the request directly to the judge overseeing your case. Although a judge has fairly broad discretion when deciding whether or not to approve a name change, it’s extremely likely that your request will be approved. To be a valid name change document, the divorce Order signed by the judge must state your entire maiden name as part of the written Order.

With your maiden name restored in court, then you have to make sure your name is updated on legal documents like your Social Security Card. In order to do this, you’ll want to submit a signed and certified copy of your court order to the SSA. After your request has been received, you’ll receive a new Social Security card in the mail in approximately 14 business days. Although the name on the card will be updated, the number will remain the same.

To get your driver’s license and Real ID in your maiden name bring a signed and certified copy of your Divorce Judgment to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This will allow you to receive a new Identification Card or driver’s license, including Real ID, in exchange for a fee. 

If you failed to request a name change during your divorce proceedings, or if you decide you’d like to revert your name change at a later point in time, you still have options. EZ Name Change offers full-service name change packages to California residents. EZ can work to secure a maiden name change divorce court order or take a brand new name through the civil court order process.

Changing your name in California can be a long and difficult process. State law requires that you complete and submit multiple forms to the court. Once the forms are complete, they will have to be filed with and certified by a court clerk. Going through all the steps can be challenging, which is why working with a company that provides full service like EZ Name Change can simplify the process. 

Going through a divorce can be overwhelming. Even though it’s possible to request a name change during court proceedings, a lot of people overlook this step. If you failed to request a name change during your divorce proceedings, you should know that you still have options to restore your maiden name or take a new name. It’s up to you to have the name you want for your future.