For Divorced Women, An Easier Path Towards Name Changes

For years, divorced women in Illinois had to jump through significant legal hoops to revert their name to their maiden one. Now, a bill placed in front of Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to make the process easier.

According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, should the bill pass, divorced individuals will no longer be required to publish a notice in the local newspaper announcing the name change, making the pathway towards reverting to a maiden name an easier one.

The current practice

The newspaper requirement, which is currently in place in Illinois and many other states across the U.S., arose out of a need to publicly announce a name change to prevent identity theft and protect certain privacy matters. But many divorcees are finding it arduous, particularly when newspaper announcements can add an additional cost on top of an already financially-challenging divorce.

Including the name change in your divorce decree

Even under current laws, individuals can include a name-change request in their divorce decree, bypassing the need for a newspaper announcement. However, the proposed law could add a greater degree of flexibility for those who may not have their mind set on reverting to their maiden name at the time of a divorce.

Eliminating the need for more paperwork

A divorce certainly has the potential to be a complicated ordeal. A name-change is often one of the simpler matters to resolve, compared to dividing assets, determining parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities. Nevertheless, even in the most straightforward of circumstances, having an attorney that is well-versed in the process and all the particulars can be invaluable.