In many instances, a divorce decree contains an order allowing the wife to legally revert to using her maiden name. If you were divorced in California and the divorce decree did not include this provision, you may still take back your maiden name. California law provides a procedure for a legal name change after a divorce is finalized. Simply complete and submit the required forms to the court in which the divorce was filed.
Obtain a copy of Form FL-395, Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment and Order. This form is available for download on the California Court website or may be requested from the county Clerk of Court.
Complete the application for name restoration. Include your name and address, as well as the name and address of the court in which the divorce was filed. List the petitioner, respondent, date of dissolution and case number as noted on the divorce decree.
Provide your full maiden name. This form may not be used for name changes other than back to your maiden name.
Print and sign the bottom of the application using your current (married) name.
Contact the Clerk's office of the county court in which the divorce was filed to find out the applicable filing fee and if applications are accepted by mail.
Submit the form to the Clerk's office. Include the filing fee as required and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive a file-stamped copy of the order by mail.
Use the file-stamped copy of the order to enact changes to your driver's license and Social Security card.