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Lawyer Explains Name Change After a Divorce in Illinois

Would You Like Assistance Changing Your Name Legally?

After the arduous process of a divorce, many people choose to legally change their name back to what it was prior to the marriage. The name change can represent final closure for a very emotional and painful time in a person’s life. The simplest way to achieve this closure is to have the name change added to your divorce decree.

A consultation with the Chicago divorce attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP, will allow you to ask about your name change as well as all of the other facets of the divorce process in Illinois. With over 30 years of experience in family law, our team can guide you through even the most complex divorce case. Call Nottage and Ward, LLP, at (312) 332-2915 today to make an appointment for your consultation.

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Performing a Name Change After Your Chicago Divorce Is Final

A name change in Chicago is relatively uncomplicated compared to other legal processes. The state requires that you have been a resident for at least six months and that you have not been convicted of a felony or a sex crime. As long as you meet these criteria, you can follow a few simple steps and find the closure that you need to move forward with your life.

Forms: There are two forms needed to make a name change. The first is the petition, which is a formal request asking the court to change your name. The request must contain the reason for the name change, which would be your divorce. In addition, you must also provide proof that you meet the state residency requirement and that you are not a felon. The second form is called the Notice of Filing for Change of Name and this is a public notice: required by law.

Filing the petition: When the forms are completed, you will need to take them to the courthouse in your county of residence to officially file them. When you file the forms with the clerk of the circuit court and pay the fee, you will be assigned a hearing date.

Publishing the public notice: The next step is to publish your name change in a local adjudicated newspaper. The announcement must include the name that you are changing to as well as the date and location of your hearing. This announcement must run in the same local paper for three consecutive weeks.

Filing the certificate of publication: Once your announcement has met the three-week criteria, the newspaper will send you a Certificate of Publication and a copy of the notice as it appeared in the paper. Both of these items must be filed with the court as proof that you met the publication criteria for a name change.

Your hearing: You should bring copies of all of the documents that you submitted to the court and be prepared to answer a few questions that the judge will ask you. The most common questions include your name and address, where you were born, how long you have been a resident of Illinois, and the name that you would like to use. Upon approving your request, the judge will sign your Order of Name Change. You must file the signed order with the circuit clerk and ask for copies, which you will use to update items such as your passport, driver’s license, and social security card.

It is important to note that Illinois law requires you to notify the Secretary of State within 10 days of changing your name. This must be completed prior to changing any other documents. Once you have completed your name change with the Secretary of State, you can proceed with other documents and accounts, which could include:

  • Retirement accounts
  • Bank accounts
  • Insurance policies
  • Work records
  • Voter registration
  • Medical records
  • Credit cards
  • Documents pertaining to children, such as school contact information

You can elect to complete a name change on your own. But the process can be time-consuming, and there are a few time-sensitive steps. To eliminate these final obstacles, contact the Chicago divorce lawyers at Nottage and Ward, LLP, to assist you. A call to (312) 332-2915 can schedule your initial meeting and provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you have over 30 years of experience working to help you move forward after this difficult time in your life.

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