Why Change Your Name?

1. You don’t like the current name

A desire for a name change may arise merely because a person dislikes his or her given name. Perhaps they’d like something a little more distinctive than Britney or Ashley, or something a little less unique than a name made up of their parents’ names.

2. Changing Your Name After Divorce

If a woman has adopted her husband’s surname upon marriage, she may choose to regain her maiden name or adopt a new one following separation or divorce.

3. When a husband marries, he takes his wife’s name.

The practice of a husband taking his wife’s surname is growing more common, although only California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and North Dakota make it easy. In some states, changing one’s name is as simple as adopting one’s husband’s surname after marriage, while in others, additional documentation is required

4. Changing the surname of the child to the mother’s or father’s

A mother may want to have a child’s surname changed to hers if the father is missing. On the other hand, if a previously absent father has returned, a name change to the father’s surname may be requested

5. Couples who are hyphenating or combining surnames to create a new one

Another common trend among married or cohabiting couples is to create a new surname by combining elements of each partner’s names or simply hyphenating the two last names to create a new joint surname

6. Desire for a name that is less or more “ethnic”

Name modifications are sometimes requested by people with “ethnic” names for a variety of reasons, including pronunciation and spelling. Some people, on the other hand, want to regain their ethnic history by adopting a new surname or reverting to a surname that has been lost through time.

7. Name Changes for Transgender People

Transgender people often ask for their names to be changed to match their gender. Names may be altered to only the masculine or feminine version of an existing name, or they can be completely new names.

8. Religious Considerations

Religious name changes are very frequent, whether it’s due to a recent religious conversion or simply to respect a person’s religious god.

9. Partners of the same sex with the same surname,

Although same-sex couples may not be able to marry legally in all jurisdictions, they may opt to share a surname, which can be very useful in financial or legal dealings.

10. Change your name so that it appears the same on all of your important documents,

It is important to have your name to appear the same on all legal documents such as a passport, driver’s license, social security card, etc.

What is the process like for an adult?

1. Submit a Petition to Change an Adult’s Name.

To begin, go to the Superior Court Family Court Division in the county where you reside and submit a Petition to Change Adult Name. The forms are usually accessible online or in the clerk’s office in most courts. Alternatively, you may draft your name change petition with the help of an online legal service provider. You must explain why you wish to change your name and declare that you are not doing it to violate anyone’s legal rights on the form. You cannot, for example, alter your identity to avoid paying your obligations, escape criminal charges, or mislead others for dishonest reasons. Before a Notary Public, the petition must be validated.

2. Make a public announcement of your request for a name change.

Within a week after submitting your petition, you must announce that you intend to change your name in your local newspaper. The following information should be included in the notice:
– Name as it is now
– Your chosen name,
– The name of the court that will hear the case.
– The date on which the petition was filed
– A statement alerting the public of the possibility of public opposition to your name change being filed with the court.
– For four weeks, the notice must be published in the newspaper at least once a week. You must prove that the notice was published for four weeks in a row with the clerk of court’s office.

3. Make a request for a name change hearing and show up.

If no one objects to your name change after four weeks, you may ask the clerk of court for a hearing date. The clerk will set up a hearing and inform you of the date and time of the hearing. You should contact the clerk’s office if you do not get notice of the hearing within a few days. If you don’t show up for the hearing, your petition will be rejected. The judge assigned to your case will examine your petition and assess your grounds for seeking a name change during your name change hearing. Despite the fact that this is a formal procedure, most name change hearings are brief. The court should approve your petition for a name change if no one has opposed, and your request does not break any laws. To verify your name change to government organizations, banks, creditors, and other interested parties, obtain certified copies of your name change order.

4. Notify the appropriate government agencies,

Within 60 days following changing your name with the court, you must change your name on your driver’s license. To finish the procedure, take a certified copy of the order to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. You’ll also need to contact the Social Security Administration to alter your name on your Social Security card. If you hold a passport, you may alter it by contacting the US Department of State. If you want to change your name on your birth certificate, you may do so by contacting the Georgia Department of Public Health. If no one objects to your petition, changing your legal name in Georgia is a simple procedure. In many instances, changing your name on bank accounts and other papers takes longer than changing your name with the court. Are you ready to begin the process of changing your name?

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How long does it take for a name change to take effect?

The length of time varies according to the court’s schedule. A name change usually takes 30 to 90 days to accomplish.

2. I’m a bride-to-be who plans to marry shortly. Is it necessary for me to use my husband’s name?

No. When you marry, you have the option of keeping your own name, taking your husband’s name, or changing your name altogether. If you and your spouse agree, your husband may take your name.  This is done as a part of the marriage process and does not usually require a name change petition to be filed with the court.

3. Is it possible for my spouse and me to alter our names to a hyphenated version of our previous names or to a new name?

Yes. Some couples choose to be recognized by a hyphenated version of their last names, while others create new identities that include aspects from both. John Doe and Mary Smith, for example, might become John and Mary Doe-Smith or Mary and John Smith-Doe. You may theoretically choose a name that is completely different from the ones you have today.

4. What if I want to adopt my husband’s surname? What’s the best way for me to make the change?

If you wish to assume your husband’s name, you may do so as soon as you are married. Make sure to update your name on all of your identification, accounts, and essential papers to your new name. A certified copy of your marriage certificate, which you should get within a few weeks after the wedding ceremony, is required to alter certain of your identity documents (such as your Social Security card).

5. After a divorce, how can I officially change my last name back to my maiden name?

The divorce decree is the legal document that allows you to revert to your previous last name after a recent divorce. To ensure that your last name change is correctly recorded, it is suggested that you explicitly urge the judge overseeing your case to issue a formal order restoring your previous or birth name in the divorce decree during your divorce procedures.

6. Is it necessary for me to alter my last name if I am simply hyphenating it with that of my spouse?

Yes. Any change to your last name is treated as a name change that must be completed.

7. Can I change my children’s last names from my husband’s last name to mine after my divorce is final?

Traditionally, courts have held that if a father continues to fulfill his parenting duty, his kid has an inherent right to retain his last name. While there is still some bias in this way, it is no longer absolute. When it is obviously in the best interest of the kid, a court petition may now be used to alter a child’s name.

I dislike my given name and would like to change it. Is it possible for me to select whatever name I want?

There are certain limitations to the new name you may select. The following are the restrictions in general:

1. You can’t choose a name with a false purpose, which means you’re planning to do anything unlawful. You can’t legally change your name to avoid paying debts, avoiding being sued, or avoiding being accused of a crime, for example.

2. You must not infringe on other people’s rights. You cannot, for example, choose a renowned person’s name with the aim of deceiving or confusing the public.

3. You are not permitted to use a name that is intended to be confusing.

4. You will not be permitted to select a profanity or racist insult as your name.

5. You are not permitted to select a name that contains a “fighting term,” which includes threatening or vulgar phrases, as well as those that are likely to inspire violence.