Adult Name Changes in Divorce
The easiest way to change your last name back to your maiden name is during the divorce process. This saves the party from paying two separate retainers. The party can change their name in the Final Judgement and Decree of Divorce. If the party fails to change their name in the Final Decree, then there is no going back due to the divorce being finalized. The party will then have to go through adult name change process outlined below.
Adult Name Changes
A name change is a civil domestic relations case. The retainer for the adult name changes is lower than those of other family law cases due to its simplicity. The case will be started once the initial pleading of a petition for name change, verification, notice and case information form is filed with the Court. The petition for an adult name change will include your current name, the county where you reside, birth date, place of birth, old names, new name, and the reason for the name change. The next step will be service through publication in a newspaper. The publication will need to take place for four weeks. Also, there is a 30-day waiting period from the time of filing before the Court can grant the name change. Once the waiting period and publication is done, the Plaintiff will need to obtain a final hearing for the judge to issue the final order which grants the name change. A certified final order will be needed when the party goes to notify places like banks and the social security office. A certified copy of the final order can be obtained through the clerk of the court where your case is filed.
Minor Child Name Change
Similar to the adult name change process the party will need to file a petition and, verification, notice and, a case information filing form to start their case. The Petition though will contain:
The Petition must be served to both of the parents. Only one of the parents will need to be served if the other parent is requesting the name change of the children. Service can be done through the parents signing a consent and acknowledgment of service or service by a sheriff or special processor. If after making a diligent search the Plaintiff cannot locate one or both of the parents the Plaintiff may do service by publication. The party will have to wait for a final hearing 30 days from the date of service or 60 days from the date of service if one of the parents lives outside of Georgia before obtaining a final hearing. After the waiting period, there will be a final hearing where the judge will decide whether to grant the final order changing the children’s name. Similar to an adult name change, the party will need a certified copy of the final order to bring to any records office to change the children’s name. If you are thinking about changing your name or children’s name, contact us toll-free at 866-527-2630 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Family Law attorneys.