What is the process to have my name changed if I am a widow taking back my maiden name?

03/04/2009 - Name Change - State: CA #15430

Full Question:

I am a widow, and I would like to change my married name back to my maiden name, what is the process for me to do that? I don't understand why I have to pay to change my name when all I have to show my husband is deceased, and I no longer am married. Does not make sense to me. My SS card shows my middle name as my maiden name, and all I want to do is drop my married

Answer:

The need for a legal name change may result from marriage, divorce, adoption or simply a desire to have another name. Generally, you cannot change your name for a fraudulent purpose, such as avoiding debts. Means of changing your name generally include usage (in some states using a name as your own has the affect of making it your name); court order (a court order is recommended to change your name and is required by most states); or a marriage certificate as proof of name change.

In California, a person may change their name by filing an action in the Superior Court with the appropriate forms. A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations. A person can not change their name to defraud any person. For an order of name change to be granted, the court must find sufficient reasons for the change and also find it consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements. Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court's findings as to whether the change of name is consistent with the public interest.

The name change process begins with the filing of a petition for name change in the superior court where the petitioner resides. The court will then issue an order to show cause regarding name change, which will recite the particulars of the petition. The order to show cause will direct all persons interested in the name change to appear before the court at a time and place specified to show cause why the name change petition should not be granted. This order to show cause will then be published once a week for four weeks in a newspaper designated within the order to show cause. If there are no objections filed with the court, the court may, without conducting a hearing, enter the order granting change of name. If objections are received the court will conduct a hearing at the scheduled time and the court may inquire of all interested parties. Thereafter the court may enter whatever order it deems just and proper. The court can grant or dismiss the petition. Once the order granting the petition is signed the petitioner is free to assume the new name.

The following are California statutes:

§ 1275 Civ. Proc.
Applications for change of names must be determined by the Superior Courts.
§ 1276 Civ. Proc.
(a) All applications for change of names shall be made to the superior court of the county where the person whose name is proposed to be changed resides, except as specified in subdivision (e), either (1) by petition signed by the person or, if the person is under 18 years of age, either by one of the person's parents, or by any guardian of the person, or if both parents are dead and there is no guardian of the person, then by some near relative or friend of the person or (2) as provided in Section 7638 of the Family Code.
The petition or pleading shall specify the place of birth and residence of the person, his or her present name, the name proposed, and the reason for the change of name.
(b) In a proceeding for a change of name commenced by the filing of a petition, if the person whose name is to be changed is under 18 years of age, the petition shall, if neither parent of the person has signed the petition, name, as far as known to the person proposing the name change, the parents of the person and their place of residence, if living, or if neither parent is living, near relatives of the person, and their place of residence.
(c) In a proceeding for a change of name commenced by the filing of a petition, if the person whose name is proposed to be changed is under 18 years of age and the petition is signed by only one parent, the petition shall specify the address, if known, of the other parent if living. If the petition is signed by a guardian, the petition shall specify the name and address, if known, of the parent or parents, if living, or the grandparents, if the addresses of both parents are unknown or if both parents are deceased, of the person whose name is proposed to be changed.
(d) In a proceeding for a change of name commenced by the filing of a petition, if the person whose name is proposed to be changed is 12 years of age or older, has been relinquished to an adoption agency by his or her parent or parents, and has not been legally adopted, the petition shall be signed by the person and the adoption agency to which the person was relinquished. The near relatives of the person and their place of residence shall not be included in the petition unless they are known to the person whose name is proposed to be changed.
(e) All petitions for the change of the name of a minor submitted by a guardian appointed by the juvenile court or the probate court shall be made in the appointing court.
(f) If the petition is signed by a guardian, the petition shall specify relevant information regarding the guardianship, the likelihood that the child will remain under the guardian's care until the child reaches the age of majority, and information suggesting that the child will not likely be returned to the custody of his or her parents.
1277.
(a) If a proceeding for a change of name is commenced by the filing of a petition, except as provided in subdivisions (b), (c), and (e), the court shall thereupon make an order reciting the filing of the petition, the name of the person by whom it is filed, and the name proposed. The order shall direct all persons interested in the matter to appear before the court at a time and place specified, which shall be not less than six nor more than 12 weeks from the time of making the order, unless the court orders a different time, to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. The order shall direct all persons interested in the matter to make known any objection that they may have to the granting of the petition for change of name by filing a written objection, which includes the reasons for the objection, with the court at least two court days before the matter is scheduled to be heard and by appearing in court at the hearing to show cause why the petition for change of name should not be granted. The order shall state that, if no written objection is timely filed, the court may grant the petition without a hearing.
A copy of the order to show cause shall be published pursuant to Section 6064 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation to be designated in the order published in the county. If no newspaper of general circulation is published in the county, a copy of the order to show cause shall be posted by the clerk of the court in three of the most public places in the county in which the court is located, for a like period. Proof shall be made to the satisfaction of the court of this publication or posting, at the time of the hearing of the application.
Four weekly publications shall be sufficient publication of the order to show cause. If the order is published in a daily newspaper, publication once a week for four successive weeks shall be sufficient.
If a petition has been filed for a minor by a parent and the other parent, if living, does not join in consenting thereto, the petitioner shall cause, not less than 30 days prior to the hearing, to be served notice of the time and place of the hearing or a copy of the order to show cause on the other parent pursuant to Section 413.10, 414.10, 415.10, or 415.40. If notice of the hearing cannot reasonably be accomplished pursuant to Section 415.10 or 415.40, the court may order that notice be given in a manner that the court determines is reasonably calculated to give actual notice to the nonconsenting parent. In that case, if the court determines that notice by publication is reasonably calculated to give actual notice to the nonconsenting parent, the court may determine that publication of the order to show cause pursuant to this subdivision is sufficient notice to the nonconsenting parent.
(b) (1) If the petition for a change of name alleges a reason or circumstance described in paragraph (2), and the petitioner is a participant in the address confidentiality program created pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, the action for a change of name is exempt from the requirement for publication of the order to show cause under subdivision (a), and the petition and the order of the court shall, in lieu of reciting the proposed name, indicate that the proposed name is confidential and will be on file with the Secretary of State pursuant to the provisions of the address confidentiality program.
(2) The procedure described in paragraph (1) applies to petitions alleging any of the following reasons or circumstances:
(A) To avoid domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code.
(B) To avoid stalking, as defined in Section 646.9 of the Penal Code.
(C) The petitioner is, or is filing on behalf of, a victim of sexual assault, as defined in Section 1036.2 of the Evidence Code.
(3) For any petition under this subdivision, the current legal name of the petitioner shall be kept confidential by the court and shall not be published or posted in the court's calendars, indexes, or register of actions, as required by Article 7 (commencing with Section 69840) of Chapter 5 of Title 8 of the Government Code, or by any means or in any public forum, including a hardcopy or an electronic copy, or any other type of public media or display.
(4) (A) A petitioner may request that the court file the petition and any other papers associated with the proceeding under seal. The court may consider the request at the same time as the petition for name change, and may grant the request in any case in which the court finds that all of the following factors apply:
(i) There exists an overriding interest that overcomes the right of public access to the record.
(ii) The overriding interest supports sealing the record.
(iii) A substantial probability exists that the overriding interest will be prejudiced if the record is not sealed.
(iv) The proposed order to seal the records is narrowly tailored.
(v) No less restrictive means exist to achieve the overriding interest.
(B) On or before January 1, 2010, the Judicial Council shall develop rules of court and forms consistent with the requirements of this paragraph.
(c) A proceeding for a change of name for a witness participating in the state Witness Protection Program established by Title 7.5 (commencing with Section 14020) of Part 4 of the Penal Code who has been approved for the change of name by the program is exempt from the requirement for publication of the order to show cause under subdivision (a).
(d) If application for change of name is brought as part of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act (Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12 of the Family Code), whether as part of a petition or cross-complaint or as a separate order to show cause in a pending action thereunder, service of the application shall be made upon all other parties to the action in a like manner as prescribed for the service of a summons, as is set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 415.10) of Chapter 4 of Title 5 of Part 2. Upon the setting of a hearing on the issue, notice of the hearing shall be given to all parties in the action in a like manner and within the time limits prescribed generally for the type of hearing (whether trial or order to show cause) at which the issue of the change of name is to be decided.
(e) If a guardian files a petition to change the name of his or her minor ward pursuant to Section 1276:
(1) The guardian shall provide notice of the hearing to any living parent of the minor by personal service at least 30 days prior to the hearing.
(2) If either or both parents are deceased or cannot be located, the guardian shall cause, not less than 30 days prior to the hearing, to be served a notice of the time and place of the hearing or a copy of the order to show cause on the child's grandparents, if living, pursuant to Section 413.10, 414.10, 415.10, or 415.40.
§ 1278 Civ. Proc.
(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (c) and (d), the petition or application shall be heard at the time designated by the court, only if objections are filed by any person who can, in those objections, show to the court good reason against the change of name. At the hearing, the court may examine on oath any of the petitioners, remonstrants, or other persons, touching the petition or application, and may make an order changing the name, or dismissing the petition or application, as to the court may seem right and proper.
If no objection is filed at least two court days before the date set for hearing, the court may, without hearing, enter the order that the change of name is granted.
(b) If the provisions of subdivision (b) of Section 1277 apply, the court shall not disclose the proposed name unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the allegations of domestic violence or stalking in the petition are false.
(c) If the application for a change of name is brought as part of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act (Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12 of the Family Code), the hearing on the issue of the change of name shall be conducted pursuant to statutes and rules of court governing those proceedings, whether the hearing is conducted upon an order to show cause or upon trial.
(d) If the petition for a change of name is filed by a guardian on behalf of a minor ward, the court shall first find that the ward is likely to remain in the guardian's care until the age of majority and that the ward is not likely to be returned to the custody of his or her parents. Upon making those findings, the court shall consider the petition and may grant the petition only if it finds that the proposed name change is in the best interest of the child.
§ 1279.5 Civ. Proc.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), (c), (d), or (e), nothing in this title shall be construed to abrogate the common law right of any person to change his or her name.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, no person imprisoned in the state prison and under the jurisdiction of the Director of Corrections shall be allowed to file a petition for change of name pursuant to Section 1276, except as permitted at the discretion of the Director of Corrections.
(c) A court shall deny a petition for a name change pursuant to Section 1276 made by a person who is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, unless that person's parole agent or probation officer grants prior written approval. Before granting that approval the parole agent or probation officer shall determine that the name change will not pose a security risk to the community.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, a court shall deny a petition for a name change pursuant to Section 1276 made by a person who is required to register as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code, unless the court determines that it is in the best interest of justice to grant the petition and that doing so will not adversely affect the public safety. If a petition for a name change is granted for an individual required to register as a sex offender, the individual shall, within five working days, notify the chief of police of the city in which he or she is domiciled, or the sheriff of the county if he or she is domiciled in an unincorporated area, and additionally with the chief of police of a campus of a University of California or California State University if he or she is domiciled upon the campus or in any of its facilities.
(e) For the purpose of this section, the court shall use the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) and Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) to determine whether or not an applicant for a name change is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code. Each person applying for a name change shall declare under penalty of perjury that he or she is not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code. If a court is not equipped with CLETS or CJIS, the clerk of the court shall contact an appropriate local law enforcement agency, which shall determine whether or not the petitioner is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code.
§ 1279.6 Civ. Proc.
No person engaged in a trade or business of any kind or in the provision of a service of any kind shall do any of the following:
(a) Refuse to do business with a person, or refuse to provide the service to a person, regardless of the person's marital status, because he or she has chosen to use or regularly uses his or her birth name, former name, or name adopted upon solemnization of marriage or registration of domestic partnership.
(b) Impose, as a condition of doing business with a person, or as a condition of providing the service to a person, a requirement that the person, regardless of his or her marital status, use a name other than his or her birth name, former name, or name adopted upon solemnization of marriage or registration of domestic partnership, if the person has chosen to use or regularly uses that name.


Please see the information at the following links:

http://definitions.uslegal.com/n/name-change/ http://lawdigest.uslegal.com/name-change/general/625/

Please see the forms at the following links:

http://www.uslegalforms.com/changeofname/california-name-change.htm

03/04/2009 - Category: Name Change - State: CA #15430

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