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How to Reclaim Your Last Name During Divorce

 Posted on April 03, 2019 in Divorce

How to Reclaim Your Last Name During DivorceChanging your last name after your divorce is an empowering step that helps signify your disconnection from your husband. You have little reason to keep his name unless you want to share the same last name with your children. The process for changing your name can be fairly simple and quick if you want to revert to your maiden name. However, the name change will affect many aspects of your life, and it will take time to make all of the necessary updates.

Name Change Process

As part of your divorce agreement, you can decide to change your last name back to your maiden name, which the divorce court will approve. Taking on a completely new last name is a separate process that may take more time. If you did not reclaim your maiden name during your divorce, you can still change your last name after the divorce by:

  • Filing a petition to change your last name;
  • Publishing a notice in a local newspaper about your hearing to change your last name; and
  • Attending the hearing to decide whether to allow your name change.

Your name change hearing will likely be simple and without much argument. The purpose of the hearing is to make sure you do not have fraudulent motives to change your name and to give others the opportunity to object to your name change, which is rare.

Following Up

It may take more work to update all of your forms of identification and personal accounts than it took to legally change your name. You are required to notify the U.S. Social Security Administration and Illinois Secretary of State about the change. You will have to go in person to their offices to receive a new social security card, birth certificate, and driver’s license or state ID. There are several other accounts and forms of identification that you may need to update, including:

  • Bank accounts;
  • Credit cards;
  • Insurance policies;
  • Retirement accounts;
  • Property titles;
  • Utility accounts;
  • Your passport; and
  • Your voter registration ID.

Finishing all of these updates can be time-consuming as you fill out forms and provide supporting documents to prove your name change. Fortunately, the cost of these changes should be minimal.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Attorney

You can save yourself time on changing your last name by making sure to include it as part of your divorce. If you must change your name afterward, it is still worth the time and effort. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you identify all of the ways you can separate from your spouse after your divorce. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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