I Forgot to Change My Last Name! FL-395 to the Rescue

My office processes a lot of divorce judgments.  In all shapes and sizes.  The other day, my client called to tell me she forgot she wanted to restore her maiden name.

Usually, we request this in Judicial Council Form FL-180.  But what happens if you forgot?

Have no fear, FL-395 is here!

First, remember, you have a right to adopt any name you want, as long as it is not for the intent to defraud or intentionally confuse.  See Weathers v. Superior Court (1976) 54 Cal.App. 3rd 286.  You can basically go around calling yourself any name you want.  HOWEVER, if you want to have photo identification along with the name, the agency processing the document will need some sort of court order.

Usually, in a divorce, if the box for restoring your maiden name is checked on the FL-180 (box 4 f), as soon as Judgment is entered, you may request a certified copy of your Judgment.  The DMV and Social Security will change it.

If you forgot to check the box on FL-180 as client did.  You need only file the FL-395.  There is no filing fee.


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Kelly Chang Rickert

Kelly Chang Rickert (formerly Kelly Yi-Yi Chang) is the founder of the Law Offices of Kelly Chang, A Professional Law Corporation, a firm dedicated exclusively to Family Law. She has been certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Family Law Specialist. She is frequently quoted in the media, and is a legal expert for Style Network, TV Guide and MTV on Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, Christie Brinkley and Madonna divorce and custody cases.

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