Illinois Legal Name Change

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Legal Name Change Info and State Statutes

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We encourage you to read and learn as much as possible about the legal name change process. There is a lot to know and the process differes by state. Thus we have provided all of this information to give you an understanding of the overall process and the specific rules that may apply to you.

Below are the relevant state statutes, as well as links to the form petitions and instructions for obtaining a legal name change for yourself or a minor.

If you are seeking a marriage name change or a divorce name change, your marriage license or divorce decree can serve as your legal name change document. Thus you can proceed to Name Change Notification, the final step of the name change process. Otherwise, read the information below and follow the links to learn about obtaining a legal name change.

Our e-guide provides you with all the forms you need and walks you through the process with detailed instructions, specified to your needs and location, so you can change your name as quickly and easily as possible.

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Illinois State Code:

Sec. 735 IL CS 5/21-101 Proceedings; parties. If any person who is a resident of this State and has resided in this State for 6 months desires to change his or her name and to assume another name by which to be afterwards called and known, the person may file a petition in the circuit court of the county wherein he or she resides praying for that relief. If it appears to the court that the conditions herein aftermentioned have been complied with and that there is no reason why the prayer should not be granted, the court, by an order to be entered of record, may direct and provide that the name of that person be changed in accordance with the prayer in the petition. The filing of a petition in accordance with this Section shall be the sole and exclusive means by which any person committed under the laws of this State to a penal institution may change his or her name and assume another name. However, any person convicted of a felony, misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse when the victim of the offense at the time of its commission is under 18 years of age, misdemeanor sexual exploitation of a child, misdemeanor indecent solicitation of a child, or misdemeanor indecent solicitation of an adult in this State or any other state who has not been pardoned may not file a petition for a name change until 2 years have passed since completion and discharge from his or her sentence. A petitioner may include his or her spouse and adult unmarried children, with their consent, and his or her minor children where it appears to the court that it is for their best interest, in the petition and prayer, and the court’s order shall then include the spouse and children. Whenever any minor has resided in the family of any person for the space of 3 years and has been recognized and known as an adopted child in the family of that person, the application herein provided for may be made by the person having that minor in his or her family. An order shall be entered as to a minor only if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the change is necessary to serve the best interest of the child. In determining the best interest of a minor child under this Section, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) The wishes of the child’s parents and any person acting as a parent who has physical custody of the child.

(2) The wishes of the child and the reasons for those wishes. The court may interview the child in chambers to ascertain the child’s wishes with respect to the change of name. Counsel shall be present at the interview unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties. The court shall cause a court reporter to be present who shall make a complete record of the interview instantaneously to be part of the record in the case.

(3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents or persons acting as parents who have physical custody of the child, step- parents, siblings, step-siblings, or any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.

(4) The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community. (Source: P.A. 88-25; 89-192, eff. 1-1-96; 89-462, eff. 5-29-96.)

Sec. 735 IL CS 5/21-102 Petition. The petition shall set forth the name then held, the name sought to be assumed, the residence of the petitioner, the length of time the petitioner has resided in this State, and the state or country of the petitioner’s nativity or supposed nativity. The petition shall be signed by the person petitioning or, in case of minors, by the parent or guardian having the legal custody of the minor. The petition shall be verified by the affidavit of some credible person. (Source: P.A. 87-409.)

Sec. 735 IL CS 5/21-103 Notice by publication.
(a) Previous notice shall be given of the intended application by publishing a notice thereof in some newspaper published in the municipality in which the person resides if the municipality is in a county with a population under 2,000,000, or if the person does not reside in a municipality in a county with a population under 2,000,000,or if no newspaper is published in the municipality or if the person resides in a county with a population of 2,000,000 or more, then in some newspaper published in the county where the person resides, or if no newspaper is published in that county, then in some convenient newspaper published in this State. The notice shall be inserted for 3consecutive weeks, the first insertion to be at least 6 weeks before the return day upon which the petition is to be filed, and shall be signed by the petitioner or, in case of a minor, the minor’s parent or guardian, and shall set forth the return day of court on which the petition is to be filed and the name sought to be assumed.

(b) The publication requirement of subsection (a) shall not be required in any application for a change of name involving a minor if, before making judgment under this Article, reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard is given to any parent whose parental rights have not been previously terminated and to any person who has physical custody of the child. If any of these persons are outside this State, notice and opportunity to be heard shall be given under Section 21-104. (Source: P.A. 87-409.)

Sec. 735 IL CS 5/21-104 Process and notice to persons outside this State.
(a) Process in change of name proceedings shall be governed by this Code.

(b) Notice in all change of name proceedings required for the exercise of jurisdiction over a person outside this State shall be given in a manner best calculated to give actual notice and shall be given in one of the following manners:

(1) By personal delivery outside this State in the manner prescribed for service of process within this State.

(2) In the manner prescribed by the law of the place in which the service is made for service of process in that place in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction.

(3) By any form of mail addressed to the person to be served and requesting a receipt.

(4) As directed by the court if other means of notification are ineffective. (c) Notice under this Section shall be served, mailed, or delivered at least 10 days before any hearing in this State. (d) Proof of service outside this State may be made by affidavit of the individual who made the service or in the manner prescribed by the law of this State, the order pursuant to which the service is made, or the law of the place in which the service is made. If service is made by mail, proof may be a receipt signed by the addressee or other evidence of delivery to the addressee. (Source: P.A. 87-409.)

State Name Change Petition and Instructions
Adult Form Instructions
Child Form Instructions

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