Name Changes in Illinois

Glendale Heights legal name change attorney for adults or minors

Attorneys Helping Spouses, Ex-Spouses, or Minor Children Legally Change Their Name in DuPage County

There are a variety of reasons a person may want to legally change their name. In many cases, one or both spouses may wish to change their last name after getting married, or an ex-spouse may wish to revert to a previous last name after getting a divorce. A parent may also wish to change a child's name after the child is adopted by a step-parent. A family law attorney can ensure that the proper legal procedures are followed when changing the name of an adult or a minor child.

At McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C., our lawyers have more than 65 combined years of experience, and we know the ins and outs of the laws that apply to families in Illinois. If you are planning to change your name or that of your child, we will explain the steps you need to follow and help you ensure that the process is completed correctly.

Changing Your Name in Illinois

Name changes are usually fairly simple and straightforward for those who have gotten married or divorced. A newly-married spouse can provide a copy of their marriage certificate to the appropriate government agencies to have their name changed on their driver's license, Social Security card, or other documentation. In most cases, a person can follow similar procedures after getting divorced in order to revert to the name they had before getting married. Unless the spouses request otherwise, a divorce decree will typically include language allowing a person to resume their former name at any time they choose.

In other situations, there are certain procedures that must be followed for a person to legally change their name, according to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/21). First, a petitioner must publish notice of the planned name change in a newspaper published in the county where they reside, and this notice must be published for three consecutive weeks. In some cases, the requirements for this notice may be waived, including in situations where a petitioner is at risk of harm due to domestic violence.

A person can then file a petition to legally change their name in the circuit court of the county where they reside. This petition will state their current name, the name they will be assuming, the address where they reside, the length of time they have lived in the state of Illinois, and the state or country where they were born. A petition must also include a statement specifying whether the petitioner has ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense. A person convicted of a felony cannot request a name change until 10 years after the completion of their sentence.

If a parent wishes to change the name of a minor child, notice must be provided to a parent who has been allocated parental responsibilities, as long as that parent's parental rights have not been terminated. If a parent lives outside the state of Illinois, they must be given the opportunity to be heard and raise any objections to the name change. A name change request for a minor may be granted if it is determined that the change would be in the child's best interests after considering factors such as the wishes of the parents and the child, the relationship between the child and other family members, and the child's adjustment to their home, school, and community.

Contact a Warrenville Family Law Attorney

If you are looking to complete a name change for yourself, your child, or another family member, our attorneys can help you prepare the necessary documents and complete the legal steps required. Contact us at 630-407-1200 to arrange a free consultation. We serve clients in DuPage County, Kendall County, Kane County, Will County, and Cook County, including Naperville, Winfield, Glendale Heights, Wheaton, Warrenville, Glen Ellyn, and Carol Stream.

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