Georgia Lawyers Divorce, Family Law, Bankruptcy, Business, ImmigrationThe Georgia Name Change Process for a Child Summarized

1. File a petition with the higher court.

If you wish to alter your child’s name (first, middle, and/or last), you must first submit a petition with the superior court in the county where your child resides. You must explain the reasons for the name change in this petition.

2. Publish Notice in the Designated County Newspaper for Four (4) Consecutive Weeks

You must publish a notice in your local newspaper (the legal organ) expressing your intention to alter your child’s last name within seven days of submitting your petition. Your child’s existing name, the intended new name, the court where you filed the petition, the date you filed the petition, and a statement providing anybody the right to object to the name change will all be included in the notification. This notification must be displayed for a period of four weeks.

3. Obtain parental consent(s) if possible

If the child’s parents are still alive and have not abandoned him or her, they must fill out and sign a permission form authorizing the name change. This permission must be included with the higher court petition. The court does not need permission if they have not contributed to the child’s support for the past five years or more.  However, notice, or attempted notice to the biological parent(s) is required.

4. Send copies of the petition.

The parent(s) get a copy of the petition when you petition to have a child’s name changed. If the kid lives with a guardian, a copy of the petition is given to that person.

5. Approve a name change.

In situations when the parent(s) or guardian(s) reside in the same state and there is no opposition to the name change, the court approves the request within 30 days. If they reside outside of the state, the request is granted after 60 days. If a person objects to the name change, legal action may be taken. These disputes may become complex, so you’ll want to employ a skilled domestic relations lawyer. Consent and the best interests of the child are highly valued by Georgia courts. If you find yourself in a tense position, you don’t want to go it alone. You may have concerns regarding the Georgia procedure before deciding to alter your child’s name. If this is the case, you should contact an attorney or seek help from an online service provider. You may navigate this procedure knowing that you’re gaining peace of mind for both you and your kid by obtaining legal counsel.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What does a court-ordered name change entail?

The process of getting your name changed by a court follows three main stages. The first stage is to file an action in the appropriate court, complete with all necessary documents and fees. In most jurisdictions, the petitioner (the person filing the request) is required to publish a notice in a local newspaper indicating that the name change action has been filed. The petitioner may also be obliged to inform particular people who would be impacted by the name change.

2. Why might a petition for a name change be denied?

If you were changing your name to escape judgements, legal proceedings, debts, or responsibilities, your petition would be rejected. It is illegal to alter one’s name in order to deceive another person.

3. Will my alimony, child support, social security, or other benefits be affected if I change my name?

No. You will retain the rights and perks that you had under your previous name. To prevent delays in entitlements, you must correctly notify the appropriate authorities of the name change.

4. What are the legal criteria for changing one’s name?

– Residency: Prior to bringing the action, most states demand that you live in the county and state for a specific amount of time (often at least 6 months).
– Legal reasons: Almost any reasonable reason for a name change is acceptable by the court.  It is illegal to alter one’s name in order to deceive another person.
– Jurisdiction: A petition for a change of name must be submitted at the appropriate court, which is typically the petitioner’s home county.

5. What distinguishes a minor’s name change from an adult’s name change?

When a minor’s name is changed, any parent or adult with parental or custodial responsibilities to the minor has the right to be informed and must provide permission or waive consent to legal proceedings involving the child. The usual norm is that a minor’s name must be changed with the agreement of both parents. As a consequence, there may be disagreement about whether the minor’s name should be altered, necessitating a court hearing. As previously mentioned, the court will ultimately determine what is in the best interest of the kid. As a result, the cause for the shift should be substantial, such as adoption or the adoption of a stepchild.

6. Where is the petition for a name change filed?

In most cases, the petition is submitted in the proper court in the petitioner’s present county of residence.

7. Is it necessary for me to go to court to change a child’s name?

When it comes to court appearances, state laws and processes vary. Depending on your state, you may be needed to return to the courtroom after submitting the first paperwork to file documents demonstrating or showing that public and individual notice of the name change was provided as required by the court. This is typically accomplished via an affidavit provided by the newspaper, which states the publishing dates (i.e., dates you publicized the notice of your name changes in the part of the newspaper for legal notices).

8. Who needs to be notified about the name change petition?

To avoid fraudulent name changes, you must give “notice” to anybody who may object once the name change petition has been filed with the court.

Legitimization and the Name Change Process for Children

If you are married and have a child in Georgia, the court will immediately acknowledge you as the father. If you are not married and have a kid out of wedlock, however, you must legalize your connection with the child. As a part of the legitimization process, you can ask the court to also change the name of the child.  It is not guaranteed the court will grant the request.  However, it is a common issue is legitimization cases.  Once legitimized, you acquire the same privileges as a married father by demonstrating you are a legal parent. The first step is to establish paternity, or prove that you are the biological father. In Georgia, the second part of the procedure to get father’s rights is known as legitimation. You demonstrate to the court that you have or want to have a significant father-child connection via this procedure. There are a few methods to demonstrate legitimacy in Georgia. You have two options: marry the kid’s mother and acknowledge the child as yours, or file a Petition for Legitimacy with the court. If the mother agrees, the procedure should be completed swiftly with a petition to the court. However, in the event of a disputed legitimacy, the procedure will take longer. This is unquestionably a moment when you need the assistance of an expert family law attorney.

Why Is Legitimacy So Important?

You may be shocked to learn that even if your name appears on a birth certificate, you do not have visiting or custody rights in Georgia. Paternity isn’t enough in Georgia to grant you father’s rights. You must also demonstrate legitimacy, which is referred to as legitimation.  Even if a DNA test confirms you’re the child’s father, it’s not enough to grant you fatherhood rights. However, having the court order you to pay child support would suffice.  As previously mentioned, legitimation creates a legal father-child connection, allowing a father’s rights lawsuit to be pursued. However, it has a number of additional consequences, including:
– On the child’s birth certificate, the father may be mentioned.
– The father’s assets may be passed on to the kid (and vice versa).
– The father may ask the court for parenting time and custody rights.
As you can see, Georgia’s legitimization process is crucial. You may show you’re the biological father all you want, but you won’t have any father’s rights in Georgia until you legalize.