How to Change Your Name After an Illinois Divorce

dupage county divorce lawyerWhen a couple gets divorced in Illinois, a partner who shared their spouse’s last name may decide they want their maiden name back. How this is done depends on whether the name change happens as part of the divorce decree or whether you wait until after the divorce is over. 

Changing Your Name During the Divorce

A divorcing spouse can request that a change back to their maiden name be included as part of their final divorce decree. Consult your attorney to make sure that that you are given the right to resume use of a former or maiden name as part of the court order dissolving the marriage.  

Generally, part of changing your name in Illinois is publishing the name change in a local public newspaper. However, if the divorce decree includes the reversion to your maiden name, you do not have to publish a notice with a newspaper; the divorce decree will be the document that public agencies will use to change your last name on official documents. 

Changing Your Name After the Divorce

If you subsequently want to file for a name change in Illinois outside of a divorce decree, and the final judgment did not give you that right, you must request a name change with the Illinois Clerk of Court. Because there are some people who are not permitted to change their name (such as registered sex offenders and people changing their name in an effort to avoid their debts), you will need to attend a hearing in front of a judge. 

The judge will take into consideration your reasons for changing your name and ensure that there are not any circumstances preventing the name change. If you were charged with a felony or certain misdemeanors during the time you used your married name, you must wait until 10 years have passed from the end of the sentence you served for the crime before you can change your name. 

Where Should I Update My Name? 

You should update your name on any formal documents, especially identification documents. This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Social security card
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Financial institutions, like banks and credit cards
  • Public utilities 

Speak with a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney

If you are considering divorce or have already begun divorce proceedings, you need a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney. The lawyers at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC can help you navigate the complexities of divorce with skill and compassion. Avoid costly mistakes and save yourself time by calling us today at 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation. 



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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree