Name Change in Illinois after Divorce
A recent article on The Huffington Post may have you wondering how difficult it is for spouses to revert back to their maiden names following a divorce. The author, who lives in Massachusetts, stated that she was required to pay a filing fee to take back her maiden name, and that there was no guarantee that the Court would grant her request (though it ultimately was granted).
Use of Maiden Name after Illinois Divorce
In Illinois, spouses can revert to their maiden names following a divorce with minimal hassle. In order to do so, the interested spouse must simply include a request in the divorce petition to restore a maiden name. The same applies to same-sex divorcing couples. Additionally, there is no additional filing fee, and although the request requires Court approval, the Court is very unlikely to not grant it.
However, obtaining a Court order authorizing you to use your maiden name again is the first step in the process. Like when you changed your last name when you got married, you will need notify government and business organizations that your name as changed.
Firstly, start by changing your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). This may be done by completing the application for a Social Security card, and either mailing it to the SSA or taking the application to your local SSA office. You will also need to provide the following:
- Your current Social Security card;
- An original or certified copy of your birth certificate;
- Current driver’s license or government issued ID; and
- A certified copy of the divorce order.
Once you obtain a new Social Security card, you may then obtain a new Illinois driver’s license using your maiden name. This must be done in person at your local Secretary of State’s Office. You must also provide an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, divorce decree and current driver’s license. There is a five dollar fee to obtain a new license.
Once you have a new Social Security card and driver’s license, you may begin to change your name on all other legal and financial documents. These may include:
- Title and registration on vehicles;
- Bank accounts;
- Credit cards;
- Home mortgage and other loans;
- Retirement and pension plans;
- Stock and brokerage accounts;
- Insurance policies, or;
- Deed to the house.
Requirements may vary regarding the type of documentation you must provide in order to have your name changed. Name changes do not typically incur a fee; however, there may be a filing fee associated with the name change. For example, there is a filing fee imposed on every deed recorded with the county recorder, so you will have to pay a small fee in order to change your name on the deed to your home.
Palatine Divorce Lawyer
If you are getting divorced, turn to Palatine divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson. With more than a decade of experience, Nicholas W. Richardson understands both the legal and emotional issues you face during divorce proceedings. His knowledge and compassion will help guide you as you move toward ending your marriage and into the next phase of your life. Contact the office today at 847.221.3626 to discuss your case.