Talking About Divorce

Changing Your Name After a Divorce In Illinois

There are two different avenues to change your name. The first is through a petition to the court and the second is as a result of a marriage or divorce. There are many considerations to think about prior to changing your name following the finalization of a divorce. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to changing your name as different perspectives drive the choice to change a name or keep it as is.

Questions to Consider Prior to Changing Your Name

  • Should you revert back to your maiden name?
  • If you are a professional, will this name change cause confusion?
  • How will I tell my children about my name change?

How to Restore Your Maiden Name Following a Divorce

If you are requesting that you revert back to your maiden name, the Judge can order this name change as part of your Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage. Prior to your final court date that will dissolve your marriage, confirm with your attorney that this provision is included in your Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.

If your Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage includes this provision, you do not need to make any separate court filings to revert back to your maiden name. However, you will still be required to update your information on public records, including, your social security card, driver’s license, passport, voter registration, insurance policies, estate planning documents, bank accounts, credit cards and utilities. The Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage will serve as the operative document that public agencies require in order to effectuate such change.

How to Change Your Name After Divorce if You Don’t Want to Use Your Maiden Name

The following is a brief overview for changing your name in Cook County, Illinois. To initiate the process of applying for a name change that is not your maiden name, you must fill out the following and submit them to the clerk of the court in county in which you reside.

  • Request for a Name Change: This form requires you to provide information about yourself and the reason for requesting the name change. The form must be signed by witnesses who know you.

  • Notice of Filing a Request for a Name Change: This form you will provide to a local newspaper, which will include the pertinent information it needs to public notice of your name change. The first date of publication must be at least six weeks prior to the hearing date, and the notice must run in the newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks. Once the newspaper has completed publishing for three consecutive weeks, the newspaper will provide you with a Certificate of Publication that you should file with the clerk of the court prior to your hearing date.

  • Order for Name Change: This is the court order that the Judge will sign if the name change is approved, and that will be provided to government agencies to change your name on public records.

Once you electronically file these forms with the clerk of the court, your hearing date will be scheduled at least eight weeks from the date that your request is filed in order to provide you with time to provide public notice of your name change with the local newspaper