Changing Your Name After a Divorce in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

There are many reasons why a person would want to change their name or the name of their child–adoption, marriage, establishing parentage–but for many people, a name change can be the last step in the divorce process. Many people–women, especially–change their last name to match their partner’s when they get married. In the event that you get divorced, changing your last name to what it was prior to the marriage is a way that many people emotionally detach themselves from the marriage and their ex-spouse. The easiest way to change your last name in the event of a divorce is to add it to the divorce decree, but you do not have to do it then. You can change your name at any time after the divorce.

Seven Steps to Changing Your Name After a Divorce

Changing your name in Illinois is a relatively easy process. As long as you have been a resident of Illinois for at least six months, and you have not been convicted of a felony or a sex crime, you can proceed with the steps to change your name.

1. Prepare the Forms Required

There are two forms required to change your name: a petition and a Notice of Filing for Change of Name. The petition is the formal request asking the court to change your name. In it you must state why you want to change your name, and you must also include proof that you meet the residency and felony requirements. The Notice of Filing for Change of Name is the public notice, which is required by law, that you are changing your name. The notice also includes what name you are changing yours to and the date of the hearing.

2. File the Petition

After you have filled out the appropriate forms, you must then take them to the courthouse in the county where you live. Once you file your forms, you will receive your hearing date. When you file your forms with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, you will have to pay the filing fee. The fee to file at the DuPage County Circuit Court is $290.00.

3. Publish the Public Notice of Name Change

After you have filed the Notice of Filing for Change of Name, you must then publish your intent to change your name in your local newspaper. In the newspaper announcement, you must list the name that you are changing to and the date and location of your hearing. According to Illinois law, the notice must be published once per week for three consecutive weeks.

4. File the Certificate of Publication

The next step in the name-change process is to file the Certificate of Publication that the newspaper will send you once your notice has been published for three consecutive weeks. They will also send you a copy of the notice as it appeared in the newspaper. Both items are important, because they must be filed with the court prior to the hearing to show that you followed the steps to change your name.

5. Attend the Hearing

When you attend your hearing, you should bring all of your documents that you have submitted with the court. During the hearing, the judge will ask you a number of questions about your case. Information that the judge will request can include:

  • Your current name;
  • Your current address;
  • The location you were born;
  • How long you have lived in Illinois; and
  • The name that you would like to change to.

If the judge grants your petition, he will sign your Order for Change of Name, which will allow you to legally change your name. After the judge signs the Order, you will need to file the Order with the Circuit Clerk and request copies to provide to other agencies to change your name on things such as your driver’s license, passport, and social security card.

6. Notify the Secretary of State

In Illinois, you are required by law to notify the Secretary of State within 10 days of changing your name. Before the Secretary of State can change their records, your driver’s license, car title, and registration must be corrected to your new name. To do this, you must go to your nearest Secretary of State center and request the new documents.

7. Change Your Name on Official Documents

Other documents that you will need to change so that they reflect your new name include your:

  • Birth certificate;
  • Social security card;
  • Passport;
  • Voter registration;
  • Bank accounts; and
  • Insurance policies.

Each document will require different forms and accompanying documents to successfully update to your new name.

Contact a DuPage County Name Change Attorney

Going through a divorce is an emotional process, but changing your name at the end of a marriage can be a step in the right direction. If you are ready to take this step, you need the help of a compassionate and experienced Warrenville name change attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC to learn how we can guide you through this process. Call 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.