call us630-584-4800

Free Consultations

Changing Your Name after Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois family lawyer, Illinois divorce attorneyFor many engaged women, the decision to change their name to their husband's or not after marriage is fairly easy to make. Most women know long before they get engaged, even before they meet the men they eventually marry, whether they want to change their name or not because for many, the decision is primarily about her attachment to her own name. When a woman who changed her name gets divorced, she has a new decision to make: to change her name again or not. For some, changing their name back to their family name is an empowering way to strip themselves of the marriage and all its problems whereas for others, the name is no longer just their husband's, but their own and keeping it has nothing to do with holding onto him or the marriage. If you are not sure about whether you want to change your name after your divorce, consider the following:

Your Professional Identity

For many women, the decision to change one's name or not at marriage and at divorce hinges on how her professional identity is tied to the name. If you are well known by a specific name in your field, it might not be in your best interest to change it.

Your Name and Its Connection to Your Children

Some mothers feel it is important to have the same last name as their children. Others do not. Think about whether it is important to you and consider the following: 

  • If you remarry, would you change your name knowing that it would no longer be the same as your children's; 
  • If you have more children in the future, you could have children with different surnames; and   
  • Regardless of your name and theirs, your children will always be your children.    

The Legal Process of Changing Your Name

Legally changing your name can be complicated. However, the time spent working on the paperwork to do so can all be worth it if changing your name is important to you. But when you divorce, your name does not automatically revert back to your family name – you need to get the necessary paperwork and take the time to file it correctly in order to change your name.


If you marry again, will you change your name again? Consider this when considering whether to change your name after your divorce.

Work with a Kane County Divorce Attorney

Changing your name after you are divorced can be an even more difficult decision than the decision to initially change it when you married. Whereas there is a cultural precedence for women to change their names when they marry, there is no uniform expectation for divorced women. But think of this lack of an expectation as a blessing. It can be easier for you to make your choice without facing pressure from others. To discuss the legal aspects of changing your name after you are divorced, speak with one of the experienced Kane County divorce attorneys at the Goostree Law Group.  



Back to Top