Post # 1
So, I’ve a unique situation with changing my name. I go by my middle name. And when I get married in May, I want my name to change from Frist Middle Maiden to Middle Maiden New-Last-Name. So I want to just drop my first name, which I’ve never used (why didn’t my parents put THAT as my middle name?). But it looks like, in the sate of CA at least, one can not change their first name on a marriage license. Therefore, I will need to go through the court to change my name.
Has anyone else done this? Was it a total pain?
Should I just wait until after I am married and change all three names at once? Entering my "married" name on our license as the same as my maiden name?
Post # 3
The formal process usually means filing a petition with the proper division of the courts, paying fees, having a hearing before a judge, and possibly publishing the change in a local newspaper. Your local courthouse would have all the information you would need. Most of the time, it’s a simple enough process, it just requires some money and a bit of time.
If I were in your shoes, I would probably do everything at once, through the formal process. This is just because it would be more convenient than changing everything into your married last name, then changing it all again once your court-ordered name change goes through. Good luck!
Post # 4
I actually did this.
My situation is that I’ve gone by a different name my whole life and wanted to change my legal name to the name I always go by. Unfortunately, in the state of CA, you can only change your last name upon marriage. So, in order to change my first name I had to do exactly what HL said.
I went to the county superior court, obtained the necessary documents (there are like 5 forms). I applied these forms with the court, paid about $350 for the court fees and they give me a date to come back (after 4 weeks from the date of filing). Upon getting the date, you have to take one of the forms you filled out, bring it to a local newspaper to be publish for 4 weeks. The price of publishing varies, but it ranges from $50-$100 depending on the newspaper. The reason for you having to publish the change is to give other people an opportunity to challenge your name change. Typically, no one would care. You have to get the proof of publishing sent to the court before the date you are due back. When you go back to the court, you won’t necessary have to appear in front of a judge unless someone opposed to your name change. Otherwise, you would receive a certified document (for a $13 fee) saying that you have legally changed your name. You take this document and you go change your legal names with the SSA, DMV, passport, etc. It’s actually pretty painless, though expensive. The only hassle is having to change your name on all documents.