Will a legal separation prevent a name/gender change?

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Will a legal separation prevent a name/gender change?

Hello,

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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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