Although more hyphenated last names have been used in recent years, the overwhelming majority of children born in the United States tend to take their father’s last name. This may even hold true in cases where parents are not married.
In cases where a relationship doesn’t work out or a married couple divorces, you may be interested in changing the last name of your son or daughter. Read on to learn about how Georgia handles name changes for minor children.
Can I change my child’s last name through divorce proceedings?
According to Georgia law, you must file a petition to change the name of a child through the Superior Court in your county. A name change cannot be conducted through divorce arrangements.
How can I be eligible to change my child’s name?
For the most part, Georgia parents must both consent to the name change of a child.
Can a name change happen without the consent of the other parent in special circumstances?
Exceptions may be made in circumstances when:
- one parent has passed away
- one parent has not paid child support for the last five years
How do we proceed if both parents consent?
You will be required to fill out the following documents and bring them to court:
- Petition verification
- Case filing information
- Acknowledgment of consent forms
Once these documents are signed in front of the clerk and notarized, you will be required to publish notice in the legal section of the city newspaper or other city publication medium.
After notice has been given, you will complete the final order forms at the hearing with the other parent.
For more information on how to fill out and file these forms or other related topics, contact an attorney for advice.
Amanda Speights is a co-founder and lead family law attorney at Speights Law, PC in Cherokee County. She is an experienced family law lawyer who handles an assortment of domestic cases, including divorce, child custody, child support, appeals and other types of litigation in the state of Georgia.