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Marriage License Name Change Options (two maiden last names)

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

I have two legal, birth last names (my mom's maiden name and my dad's last name) but outside of legal forms and circumstances, I really only use my dad's last name. I'm getting married in a few weeks and we are applying for our marriage license. I want to take my new husband's last name and change my middle name to a hypenated version of my current middle name and the last name I go by (my dad's). So I would go from First Middle Last1 Last2 to First Middle-Last2 HusbandsLast.

The rules for changing your middle name are that you may choose any of the following:

-The current last name of either spouse.
-The last name of either spouse given at birth.
-A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the current last name of the person or spouse.
-A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the birth last name of the person or spouse.

I asked this question in another forum and was told that I can indeed move only one of my last names to my middle name because I've declared it to be my current last name by usage, which is allowed and accepted by common law. Here's the answer I received:

"Yes, you are allowed to change your middle name as you want to on your marriage license application. The explanations for what is permissible are taken from Cal. Family Code § 306.5. That statute also says 2 other important things:

You can't do a name change with fraudulent intent.

"Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate the common law right of any person to change his or her name."

So long as you aren't doing it to trick anybody, you are absolutely free, as of right now (and it seems you already have), to declare that your current last name consists only of your father's last name. This is your common law right. Here is an OAG Opinion on this right in CA (pdf) (the person provided it but I think my post is getting marked as spam when I include the link)

That way, when you fill out the form as you have proposed, you are in fact recording a hyphenated combo of your current middle name and your current last name."

But then I posted the question on yet another forum for additional opinions and was told that I must use my full legal name. I'm hoping people on this forum can help clear this up for me. Thanks!
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