Georgia law provides for both minor children and adults to legally change their name under multiple circumstances. Name changes are most frequently obtained pursuant to a Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce, wherein the Court may order that the wife is restored to her former maiden name. However, individuals may also petition the court for a name change either on their own behalf or on behalf of their minor child under O.C.G.A. § 19-12-1. Such name changes are not limited to a woman’s prior maiden name, and theoretically, an individual may change his or her name to whatever name they wish. However, the petition must fully and particularly set forth the reasons why the name change is requested, and the ultimate decision as to whether the petition shall be granted is left to the presiding judge. Additionally, if the petition seeks to change the name of the minor child, the written consent and/or service to parents or guardians will be required, subject to certain exceptions. In all name changes, the petitioner is required to publish notice of the petition in the local legal organ of the county once a week for four weeks, which notice must contain specific information in order to prevent fraud and to prevent the petitioner from evading creditors. The attorneys at our firm are prepared to help our clients file, publish, and obtain their name change as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If you find yourself needing to talk to one of our experienced attorneys regarding how to appropriately file and request a legal name change, contact our team at Thompson, Meier & King, serving Canton, Cherokee County and the surrounding north Georgia area.