Changing Your Last Name After a Divorce

Although it’s becoming more common for women to retain their maiden names when they marry, most still take their husbands’ names, as it represents entry into a new family unit. Unfortunately, a divorce puts a legal end to that family unit, in which case a woman may no longer want to keep her former husband’s last name as a reminder of her married life. If this is the case for you, you may be wondering how to revert to your maiden name after a divorce.

The process is not overly burdensome. If you know going into your divorce that you don’t want to keep your married name, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make sure there is a provision in your divorce decree that allows you to reclaim your maiden name.
  2. After the court signs the judgment, you must have it certified. If possible, it makes sense to do this on the same day as your divorce at the domestic relations clerk’s office.
  3. Have your name changed on your identification and accounts. First update your Social Security card and driver license, which must show the name change before you can address your financial accounts.

Divorce proceedings involve complex paperwork and processes that are important to get right the first time. Work with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney to help the process go as smoothly as possible. 

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