There are four legal requirements for changing your name in Georgia:
- You must live in Georgia
- You must file with the Superior Court in the county you reside in,
- You must not change your name to commit fraud or for the purpose of fraud, and
- You must publish notice of change for 4 weeks in the legal newspaper for your county
What are the name change requirements for a minor?
If the person who wants to change their name is under 18 years old, there are additional requirements:
- Both parents must consent to the name change unless a parent has abandoned the child.
- Examples of abandonment include failure to support, visit, or communicate with the child for a minimum of six months.
- Parents who have not consented must be served with the name change petition.
Why do I have to publish a notice of my name change in a newspaper?
You have to publish a notice of your name change to make sure you are not committing fraud. An example of fraud might be changing your name to hide your criminal history or to steal someone’s identity. Publishing the notice gives a potential fraud victim an opportunity to notify the court by filing an objection.
There is no reason other than fraud that someone can object to your name change. For example, a family member cannot stop you from getting your name changed just because they disapprove or disagree.
However, if there is evidence of family violence against you, the judge may allow you to file your case under seal and waive the publication requirement. You should ask the judge for this at the time you file your case. Examples of evidence include police reports and temporary protective orders.