Will a legal separation prevent a name/gender change?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Will a legal separation prevent a name/gender change?


My spouse and I are looking to get legally separated. We live in California. My
spouse is a transgender woman in the beginning of transition and will also need
to change her name/gender while we are legally separated. I know that I cannot
go back to my maiden name until the divorce is finalized, can she proceed with
her name/gender change before divorce happens?

Asked on June 18, 2018 under Family Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are incorrect: you can go back to your maiden name before the divorce is finalized, or at any time: a competent adult can change his or her name whenever he or she wants (the process/paperwork may be different if it's not part of a marriage or divorce, but that's just a procedural issue). Someone may also change their gender whether married or single or anything in between. The separation will not stop or delay either the name or the gender change.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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