Beginning in 2020 Domestic Partnerships in California are now available as an alternative to marriage to opposite sex couples. Previously, this was only available to same sex couples and only available to opposite sex couples over the age of sixty-two
Under certain circumstances, California Family Code 6340 allows a protected party to serve the restrained party by alternate means (mail, publication etc.). This occurs when the court finds that there has been diligent efforts to serve the restrained party with the temporary restraining order and also when there is reason to believe that the restrained party is attempting to evade service. If the court finds the above exists it should continue the hearing to a date when the restrained party can be given notice by the alternate means.
Read more about types of Restraining order and do’s and don’ts here
So, you’re ready to take the plunge and legally change your name? Getting a legal name change without an attorney’s help is totally doable. The forms you need and the procedures to follow are all available online. Below is a basic run-down of how to change your name in California. Different counties have slightly different procedures to process legal name changes, so you might have to do something a little different than the process below.
– $435 Filing Fee
– Newspaper publication’s cost
– Certified Copies’ cost
* You can request a fee waiver using the form Request to Waive Court Fees (FW-001) (most people are not poor enough to qualify)
– Petition for Change of Name (NC-100)
– Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (NC-110)
– Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (NC-120)
– Civil Case Cover Sheet
– Decree Changing Name (NC-130)
Where to Find the Forms: https://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-namechange.htm
Fill Out the Forms. Court forms are deceptively difficult. You need to pay extremely close attention to detail to fill them out. Also, SPELL YOUR NAME CORRECTLY. This goes without say, but it misspelling your name is an expensive mistake to pay for. The California Courts Self Help Center website provides more detailed instructions for each form. Your court’s self-help center may help people file legal name changes, asking them to review it would be a huge help.
Make at least 2 copies of all your forms. You need a copy and the newspaper publication needs a copy.
File the forms with the court clerk and get copies stamped as conformed
Get the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name published. You a required to publish the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name one a week for 4 consecutive weeks in a general circulation newspaper.
Go to your court hearing, if it is held (court has the option of granting the change without a hearing if there is no objections filed). The Order to Show Cause shows your hearing date, time, and location. Check if the court granted your name change a few days prior to the hearing. If it has been granted, you do not need to show up to the hearing.
Get certified copies of the Decree changing Name. You need it to change your legal documents, and we recommend that people get more than one copy just in case any agency needs to keep it.
All courthouses in Los Angeles County, (maybe not Avalon), now have public access terminals that allow viewing and printing of family law cases (except Paternity cases cannot be accessed without a password that is only issued to a party or their attorney)
- You can view and print records from any courthouse in Los Angeles County from whatever courthouse is convenient to you. You can even get certified copies at these courthouses. (Normal charges apply)
- You can avoid the .50 cent per page copying fee by photographing the computer screen (you may need to adjust settings to get the screen to display the entire page)
- Paper copies of scanned files are destroyed. If there is an error in scanning, the records could be lost forever.
- You must use the computer to view a scanned family law file. This comes into play in Long Beach and probably some other branch courts, where if you stand in line to get copies of documents of the file and you do not already know which document(s) that you want; you will be sent to the Civil Clerks office to view on their computer.
- In Long Beach at least, the copies of the printed documents are normally retrieved by the busiest civil clerk in the entire office and this is the only clerk authorized to retrieve copies from the printer. There can be a long wait. In addition, once the documents are retrieved, they must be paid for at the Family Law Clerks office, which can involve another long wait.
If you live in Los Angeles County and want to change your name, you will appreciate this improvement to the process. The court is now publishing its tentative decision on the court website under the Civil section of the page, as a tentative ruling. The procedure has recently be change to only publishing a tentative decision, if the tentative decision is to deny the change. This is published one to two days before the the hearing date. By typing in your case number you can see if your name change was not approved. If the name change is approved, then neither you or your attorney need appear. If the name change does not show as approved, then you or your attorney must appear at the name change hearing or the case will probably be dismissed. It is important that you verify for yourself that this procedure is still in effect as the court can and will change the procedure without notice. For more information about the name change procedure in Los Angeles and Orange Counties visit the name change page.
It is quite common for people who are not familiar with family law to confuse the date of separation and the process of legal separation. As set forth in Family Code Section 70 the date of separation is the date that a complete and final end to the marriage has occurred as shown by one or both spouses expressing their intent to end the marriage and conduct that is consistent with that intent.
A legal separation, https://thebeachlaw.com/legal-separation-long-beach/ ,on the other hand, is a legal proceeding similar to divorce. The procedure for filing for legal separation is the same as filing for a divorce and uses the same forms. Like a divorce, a legal separation proceeding can divide the parties’ property and debts, determine a parenting or custody and visitation plan for any minor children and set forth child and or spousal support. Unlike a divorce the parties are still married to each other after the judgment. They cannot remarry and are considered married for tax purposes. Some reasons that people prefer legal separation to divorce include religious prohibition of divorce, to maintain health or other benefits available to married couples that would not be available in the event of divorce.
Need more information? Call and get a free 15-minute consultation with a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, B. Stuart Walker