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Post-Divorce Name Change in DuPage County

Posted on in Divorce

naperville divorce lawyerTraditionally, women have changed their surname to that of their spouse and continue to do so. Some women opt to retain their maiden name after marriage, while others choose to hyphenate their surname with their husband’s surname. After divorce, many may wish to return to their maiden name. The option to change a surname can be included in the divorce decree, which automatically authorizes the name change. However, sometimes the terms to revert to a former name are not included in the final divorce decree either by oversight or intentionally. 

Ex-spouses may initially wish to retain their married name for convenience or to continue sharing a surname with their children. They may then find themselves wanting to revert to their maiden name months or even years after the divorce. A divorce lawyer can help facilitate a name change in the divorce decree or long after the divorce is finalized.

Four Prerequisites to Legally Change Name and Items to Update

In Illinois, citizens can legally change their names for any reason unless it is fraudulent, such as avoiding debts. Those who petition a name change must adhere to the following criteria before the judge grants the order. 

  1. One must be at least 18 years old.

  2. Before petitioning for a name change, one must be an Illinois resident for no less than six months.

  3. Registered sex offenders are not eligible to legally change their names.

  4. Convicted felons who are not registered sex offenders can petition for a name change ten years after the completion of their sentence. 

Once the name is legally changed, the petitioner should update the following items. 

  • Birth certificate

  • Passport

  • Social security card

  • Driver’s license or state ID card

  • Insurance accounts

  • Bank accounts

  • Credit cards

  • Retirement and investment accounts, like IRAs and 401Ks

  • Medical and dental plans

  • Real estate deeds

  • Loans, leases, and mortgages

  • Mailing address

  • Public utilities

  • Legal documents, like living wills

  • Email addresses and social media accounts

Petitioning the Court to Change Surname Post Divorce

Even when a divorcing spouse is doubtful that they will change their surname, the option must be sanctioned in the divorce decree. Otherwise, the ex-spouse must petition the court and attend a hearing. Even changing a hyphenated surname, the petitioner must follow the appropriate legal procedures. This process will not only include legal fees but can also take up to eight weeks or more. An ex-spouse is not obligated to inform their former spouse or offer any explanation for reverting to their maiden name. 

A divorce attorney can assist you in completing the necessary forms and help prepare you for the hearing, which includes the following.

  • Complete and bring the three necessary forms Request for Name Change, Notice of Filing a Request for Name Change, and Order for Name Change.

  • Bring a passport, state ID, or driver’s license that displays your married name.

  • If convicted of a felony, bring documentation that proves the end of your sentence was ten years ago.

Contact a Naperville Family Law Attorney

If you wish to change your married name, whether you are about to divorce or have already divorced, Pesce Law Group P.C., a full-service family law firm, can streamline the process.  We are thoughtful and dependable divorce attorneys who aggressively advocate for all our clients. For a free consultation, contact a Naperville divorce attorney at 630-352-2240.


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