The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Can I Use My Maiden Name After My Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on December 13,2019 in Life After Divorce

St. Charles divorce attorney

For centuries, women have been taking the surnames of their husbands after they walk down the aisle. While in the old days, this was for purposes of man and woman “becoming one,” many modern women also take their husband’s surname because it follows tradition and further solidifies the creation of a family. This can be one of the reasons why some women may want to switch back to their maiden name after a divorce. Similar to the process you went through when you initially changed your maiden name to your husband’s last name, the name change process is a legal procedure that can require a significant amount of paperwork and patience. 

Keep Things Simple

With everything that comes along with divorce, going through court proceedings to change your married last name back to your maiden name can seem cumbersome. This is why the state of Illinois also allows you to include name change information in your divorce decree. This is the easiest way to reinstate your maiden name, because there is no extra legwork involved in this. You can use your divorce decree as proof of your name change. If you do not include your name change in your divorce decree, it can still be changed, but you will just have to go through a few extra steps.

Changing Your Name After the Fact

If you want to change your last name back to your maiden name after your divorce is finalized, you will need to petition the court for the name change. Although Illinois does have requirements to change your name, you will be eligible as long as you are over the age of 18, have lived in Illinois for at least six months, and have not been convicted of a felony, identity theft, or any offense that requires you to register as a sex offender. Currently, you must also publish a notice of your name change in a newspaper, although this will no longer be a requirement beginning in 2020. Once you fill out and file the forms, you must attend your court date where the judge will grant or deny your name change.

Contact an Oswego Divorce Attorney 

For many recent divorcees, changing their last name back to their maiden name is the last piece of the divorce puzzle. While it is easiest to commence the name change process at the same time as your divorce proceedings, it is also possible to change your name back through a separate proceeding. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, we can help you complete the final step in moving on with the next phase of your life. Call one of our knowledgeable Kendall County divorce lawyers today at 630-409-8181 to schedule a consultation.




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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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