Georgia law enables you to change your name by petitioning the county court in your area. In most cases, the court requires you to make the name change public. But if you are changing your name for safety reasons, you can ask the court if you can bypass the publication requirements to protect your new identity.
An Atlanta, GA name change lawyer can help you navigate the nuanced Georgia laws. They can prepare and file the petition and other legal documents on your behalf, freeing up your time to focus on other matters. Our experienced family law attorneys have helped others successfully change their names because of adoption, marriage, divorce, domestic violence, gender transition, and many other reasons. Let us help you as well. Call today to speak with a qualified member of our team.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-12-1 empowers people to change their names by filing a request with the superior court in the county where they live. The person must prove their current identity by presenting a Driver’s License, state ID, birth certificate, or other form of identification. In most cases, they must also publish the new and old names in an approved paper for two weeks or more before the Georgia courts can finalize it.
The family court system will also want to ensure a person is not changing their name to commit fraud or evade creditors. This requires a hearing before the judge where the party requesting the name change must state their reasons for petitioning the court.
When the change is because the person is getting married, they can request it when they pick up or file the marriage license or file a separate request later. If the change is after a divorce, a person can draft their divorce order to include the name change. However, in this instance, they can only change their name back to what it was before the union or their maiden name.
An attorney in Atlanta, GA can help someone carry out a name change by gathering the necessary information, writing and filing the legal documents, and presenting favorable arguments in court. Our team will counsel you on what to expect at every turn.
Most people seeking to change their name must do so in a public process and let their parents or caregivers know, but there are important exceptions. Emancipated minors and those over 18 do not have to notify their parents or caregivers of the name change.
Victims of domestic violence or human trafficking can ask the Georgia courts to let them proceed without the publication requirement and not make the information about the name change part of public record. If the court agrees, the person can change their name in a sealed or private proceeding. The family court keeps a complete but confidential record of the petition and order in its files but makes a redacted version available to the public to help preserve the person’s privacy.
Understanding Georgia’s exceptions to the notice and publication requirements can help people successfully and safely obtain and modify their records. A trusted attorney in Atlanta can also help those transitioning by explaining the legal requirements for changing their names and gender designation.
Changing your name allows you to protect your privacy, showcase your new identity, or take on a new last name after a divorce or marriage. Completing this process may sound straightforward, but there are nuanced aspects that only a seasoned legal professional can provide guidance with. Build a strong foundation for your proceedings by putting legal matters in the hands of our capable Atlanta, GA name change lawyers. Speak with our firm today to schedule a consultation.