Changing your name after marriage

Today, it is not necessary to change your name to your husband’s after you are married like so many women did years ago.  You have several options, which include:

·     A husband can take his wife’s last name or the wife can take her husband’s last name

·     A wife can use both names by hyphenating it (i.e. Smith-Jones)

·     Don’t use either name; create a new one

Once you decide on your new name, make sure you contact people and businesses you deal with, including any government agencies.  There is no legal action required if you choose the ‘common usage’ method.  This is when you use your name consistently. If you decide on this method, make sure you change your driver’s license and social security card.

You can go to a local court to change your name.  The legal process is not expensive and is easy enough to do.  Again, make sure you replace your driver’s license and social security card with your new name.

If you are thinking of a name change and have questions, contact an experienced Orange County Family Law attorney who can help you do this.