A name is a crucial part of your identity. Although it has become more popular for women to keep their birth name after getting married, a person who changes their name also has the option to change it back after a divorce.
A person may decide to change their name back to their birth name to disassociate themselves from their ex-partner. However, that may prove difficult if you are professionally known by your spouse’s last name, or if that is the last name you share with children from the marriage. It may be easier to wait on changing your name legally until after you are retired or your children have started lives of your own. There are no legal requirements to change your name in regards to a marriage or divorce, it is all about personal preference.
To return your name to what it was before, the easiest way will be to include it in your divorce filing. This is then signed by the judge as part of the final divorce agreement. You may be asked to explain why you wish for a change of name to ensure there is no malicious intent in regards to fraud. An amendment can be included if you decide to change your name during the divorce process as opposed to the start of it.
If you decide to change your name to something different, or your divorce has passed and the name change was not agreed upon by the court, you will need to file it separately. Anyone over the age of 18 who has lived in the state for at least six months can easily change their name as long as the petitioner does not have a felony conviction.
To begin the name change process, you file a request for a name change with the court. You will also need a witness’ signature, which can be from anyone who knows you. If the court accepts your request, they will issue on order of publication to place in the legal notice section of a newspaper of general circulation. This order has an objection date, and this alerts anyone who would possibly object to your name change and gives them time to do so. Name changes in Illinois need to be published once a week for three weeks. After the publication, you will receive an affidavit, or proof of publication, which you file before your hearing, and a judge will deny or grant your name change.
Retake the name you feel the most comfortable with. Contact an experienced Will County divorce attorney and ask about how to include your name change as a condition of your divorce. Call our office at 815-726-9200 to schedule a free consultation.