Both parents must agree to change the name of their child in Georgia. Georgia only allows one parent to change the child's name if the other parent is dead, hasn't given any support for child for at least the last five years before the petition filing or has abandoned the child. The parents must file the name change papers in the superior court of the Georgia county the child lives in. The forms needed for a child's name change in Georgia are typically available at the superior courthouse or county law library.
Complete the petition and petition verification forms. You'll put down parents' names, addresses and relationship to the child, as well as the child's name, birth date, address and the name you're seeking. Leave the signature line blank.
Fill out one acknowledgment and consent form. Don't sign. Put the forms with the petition and verification forms.
Complete the case filing information and notice forms. Don't sign yet. Put the forms with the other forms you've completed so far.
Ask the other parent to fill out the other acknowledgment and consent form. Tell him not to sign yet. Put the form with your other forms. Make at least one set of copies of all papers.
Bring the petition, petition verification, case filing information, notice and both acknowledgment and consent forms to the clerk's office of the Georgia Superior Court. Ask the other parent to come with you; both parents must bring photo identification. Sign all the forms in front of the clerk and ask her to notarize the signatures. File the forms. The clerk with give you a copy of the notice. Ask the clerk what newspaper you must publish the notice in.
Arrange for the notice to run in the legal section of the newspaper identified by the clerk. Contact the newspaper and ask them to run a name change ad in the newspaper one each week for four weeks in a row. Give the newspaper a copy of the notice and ask for evidence of publication.
Contact the court once you received the evidence of publication. Schedule the name change hearing.
Fill out the final order and disposition information forms. Don't put anything on the lines reserved for the judge and court clerk. Double-check the spelling of your child's new name on the order.
Go to the hearing. Bring the other parent with you. Bring the copies of all your forms, the final order, publication evidence and the disposition form.
Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.