Adult and Minor Child Name Change Attorneys in Georgia | Attorneys

Coleman Legal Group, LLC

Call 770-609-1247 now to speak with one of our experienced Georgia Name Change Attorneys.

In a divorce, the wife can ask for her name to be changed back to her maiden name in the divorce decree. However, if you did not change your name as a part of a divorce, or for any  other legal reason you want your name changed the family law attorneys at Coleman Legal Group, LLC can help.

What is an allowable reason for a name change in Georgia?

So long as a name change is not being used to commit fraud or hide from creditors, the name change will be granted.  There are rare instances where name changes have not been granted due to obscene words being chosen for the name.  Name changes can be for either an adult or a minor child.  Name Changes are covered under Georgia law by O.C.G.A. Sections 19-12-1 through 19-12-4 and O.C.G.A. Section 31-10-23(d).

Adult Name Changes

Adult name changes only need to be requested by the adult wishing to have their name attached.  The petition is usually titled as a Petition for Name Change of an Adult. The petition does not require a domestic relations financial affidavit or the personal service of any other person, including a current spouse.  However, publication for four (4) consecutive weeks in a legal news paper is required. Once the notice has been published, the newspaper will issue a document called an Affidavit of Publication which will need to be filed with the court.

Common reasons adults request name changes are:

  • the name they were given at birth does not mean anything to them because they do not have a relationship with their family.
  • the adult (usually Wife) did not choose the change their name to their previous or maiden name a the time of the divorce.
  • they do not like their name for personal reasons, such as they do not have a good relationship with their parents or other family members that are associated with their name.
  • they feel their name is impeding their ability to find employment because it is too difficult to spell, pronounce or may be associated with a historical or public figure that is unpopular.
  • they have been using a different name than what is on their birth certificate for years, and now upon renewing their driver’s license a name change is required to get all their documents, such as social security card, pass port, driver’s license and birth certificate to state the same exact name.
  • they only want a minor change to their name, such as the taking out of a space or hyphen to prevent errors when completing important documents.
  • they are having problems renewing or obtaining a driver’s license due to discrepancies between documents required for the license, such as the birth certificate and the commonly used (and well documented) name  of the person requesting the driver’s license.  For example, if the bank statements, social security card, etc. have a different name than the birth certificate, this can cause problems in renewing or obtaining a driver’s license.  Once your name is legally changed, the birth certificate can be amended to show your new legal name.

All of the reason above are legitimate and acceptable reason in Georgia for a name change.  See O.C.G.A. § 19-12-1 >>

Minor Children Name Changes

Changing the name of a minor child is very similar to changing the name of an adult.  Publication for four (4) consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper is still required.  However, if both parents are still alive, both parent’s will need to file the petition jointly, or one parent will need to have the other parent officially served with the Petition for Name Change of a Minor Child.

There are exceptions for the notice and consent requirement to the other parent (usually the Father).  These exceptions are listed below:

  • if the parent is deceased, or
  • the parent has abandoned the child, or
  • the parent has not contributed to the support of the child for a continuous period of at least five (5) years immediatly before the petition to change the child’s name is filed.

also, if the biological Father is not legitimated, he will have no legal rights to the child or to the child’s affairs, and will not need to be served with a copy of the petition to change the child’s name, and his consent will not be required.

Who can request a name change for a minor child?

Although not common, the name change of a minor child can be requested by a person other than the parents, such as a grandparent, step parent or foster parent.  If this is done, both parents will usually need to be served with the petition.  Usually the consent of both parents is required for a name change of a minor child.  However under Georgia law there are commonly used and clearly outlined exceptions as stated below:

If the petition seeks to change the name of a minor child, the written consent of his parent or parents if they are living and have not abandoned the child, or the written consent of the child’s guardian if both parents are dead or have abandoned the child, shall be filed with the petition, except that the written consent of a parent shall not be required if the parent has not contributed to the support of the child for a continuous period of five years or more immediately preceding the filing of the petition.  See O.C.G.A. § 19-12-1 >>

The reasons given for the name change of a minor child usually include:

  • adoption of the child.
  • the name they were given at birth does not mean anything to them because they do not have a relationship with their family.
  • they do not like their name for personal reasons, such as they do not have a good relationship with their parents or other family members associated with the name.
  • the parents or guardian feel the child’s name will impeding their ability to find employment because it is too difficult to spell, pronounce or may be associated with a historical or public figure that is unpopular.
  • they have been using a different name than what is on their birth certificate for years, and now upon requesting the child’s driver’s license a name change is required to get all their documents, such as social security card, pass port, driver’s license and birth certificate to state the same exact name.
  • they only want a minor changes to their name, such as the taking out of a space or hyphen to prevent errors when completing important documents.
  • the child wishes to take the name of their step parent or other person that has helped raise them.
  • the child needs to be registered in the child’s (or child’s parent’s) home county, but the child’s name does not meet the home country’s requirements for a child’s name.
  • the child (and usually other family members) are moving to another county and a change of name that sounds more “local” is desired.

All of the reason above are legitimate and acceptable reason in Georgia for a name change of a minor child.

What to Do Once the Name Change is Granted By the Court

Once our family law attorneys have petitioned the court for a change of your name and received the court order granting it, your name is officially changed.  However, obtaining a court order changing your name is just one of the steps in the process. After your name has been changed with the court and you have a copy of the court order you should do the following as soon as possible:

Update your Georgia Driver’s License. You should visit the Department of Driver Services and obtain a new driver’s license showing your new name. You will need to present a copy of the court order granting your name change. If you are also changing your address, you will also need to provide proof of new residence (such as a utility bill). You should be prepared to have your photograph taken again for your new driver’s license.  Depending on when your license was last renewed, you may have to pay a fee.  It is best to have cash available to pay this fee in case your check or debit / credit card is not accepted.  As of 2013, there have been many new changes to the law governing the obtaining and renewing Georgia Driver’s Licenses.  Therefore, we recommend check with the Department of Driver Services (http://www.dds.ga.gov/) regarding fees and other forms of identification that may be required.  Also see O.C.G.A. Section 31-10-23(d)

Update your Passport.  If you have obtained a passport within the last year, you should be able to update your passport information for free.  However, you should refer to the U.S. Department of State website (http://travel.state.gov/) to find out which form(s) you will need to complete to update your passport with your new name.

Notify the Social Security Office of your New Name.  You will need to locate a social security office near you bring and a copy of the court order granting your name change as well as a valid ID such as your driver’s license.  There should be no fee to obtain a new social security card with your new name on it.

After you have changed your name on all of your legal documents and forms of identification (ID), you should contact your credit card providers, banks, subscriptions and service providers to update with your new name.  Many of them will be able to make the name change and update their records over the phone.  However, some banks and service providers may require that you appear at a local branch or office and provide copies of your new ID(s) and a copy of the court order granting your name change.

Georgia Areas We Serve
Our Georgia lawyers and attorneys handle cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Duluth, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Marietta, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Gainesville, Midtown Atlanta, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Kennesaw, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, Smyrna, Buford, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Decatur, Grant Park, East Atlanta and the Virginia Highlands.

Our Georgia lawyers and attorneys frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton.

Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s Georgia lawyers practice in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Estates, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Bankruptcy, Business Law and Immigration. We have offices conveniently located at:

Alpharetta Georgia
North Point Park
5755 North Point Parkway
Suite 51
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Atlanta Georgia
Colony Square
1201 Peachtree Street, 400
Colony Square, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Dunwoody
Sandy Springs

1200 Abernathy Road
Building 600
Northpark Town Center
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Cumming Georgia
The Avenue Forsyth

410 Peachtree Parkway
Building 400, Suite 4245
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Johns Creek
Duluth Georgia

11555 Medlock Bridge Rd
Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Duluth Georgia
Sugarloaf

2180 Satellite Boulevard
Suite 400
Duluth, GA 30097
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Kennesaw Georgia
TownPark Center
125 TownPark Drive
Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Lawrenceville
Huntcrest
1755 North Brown Road
Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Copyright © 2018 | Coleman Legal Group, LLC | All Rights Reserved. Coleman Legal Group, LLC • 5755 North Point Parkway, Suite 51 • Alpharetta, GA 30022 • 770-609-1247 DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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