People choose to change their name for a number of reasons. Most often people change their name because of marriage or divorce, but other reasons happen as well, such as having a name that's difficult to pronounce or a name that is similar to a person you don't want to be mistaken for. Chicago is subject to Illinois state laws, which specify the procedures for legally changing your name. If you are changing your name due to marriage, your marriage license will serve as a legal name-change document, and you do not have to petition the court.
Reside in the state of Illinois for at least six months.
Publish a "Notice of Intent" in a Chicago newspaper in your county once a week for three weeks, stating that you intend to change your name.
File a "Petition for Change of Name" with your county's circuit clerk. You are eligible to do this six weeks after your "Notice of Intent" first appears in a newspaper. With your petition, include a proof of publication, as well as an affidavit from someone (that is not a relative) verifying you are the person you claim to be. This affidavit must be signed in front of a notary public. If you reside in Cook County, the affidavit can be found on page three of the Cook County "Petition for Change of Name." Residents of DuPage County can find the affidavit at the bottom of page one on the DuPage County "Petition for Change of Name."
Attend the hearing in front of a court judge. The judge will ask you basic questions, such as where you were born, your age and questions to ensure you are not a sex offender or someone who is changing her name to defraud anyone or avoid legal processes. If the judge is satisfied with your answers, you will be awarded a legal name change.
- It's important to know, according to Illinois law, that if you've been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving sexual/indecent liberties with a child in Illinois or any other state, you may not petition for a name change until at least two years have passed since you've been discharged from your sentence. It is also against the law to change your name to defraud anyone or to avoid legal processes.
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