How to reconcile name mismatch between marriage certificate and everything else?

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How to reconcile name mismatch between marriage certificate and everything else?

My last name is Ito, and my husband’s last name is Chang. Our marriage certificate shows my name as Chang. After 18 years of marriage, it is the only document showing this name. I have been using Ito everywhere else, including driver’s license, bank accounts, passport, our living trust, etc. Recently my father’s trust attorney mentioned that I should reconcile the name mismatch to comply with state law. His assertion is that the gov is getting strict about this issue, although I’m American born and never had any legal issues. What should I do?

Asked on August 12, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I see no reason why you need to reconcile the name differential that you have written about from a legal perspective. People know you by your "Ito" surname despite your marriage certificate stating "Chang" as your last name. For all intents and purposes there is no need to go and have your marriage certificate modified with an amendment showing your surname as "Ito". You would be needlessly wasting time and money in my opinion.

I'd let things lie.


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