How to Change the Last Name of a Child in Georgia

By Sarah Estlund
Georgia, a child's last name, an attorney

Child image by Serenitie from Fotolia.com

There are a few different reasons why a person would want to change the last name of a child. In the case that both parents are deceased and an aunt or uncle has taken in the child, they may seek to change the child's last name to be the same as their last name. In the case that a woman remarries and the child's biological father is not present in the child's life, there may be cause to give the child the mother's or the stepfather's name.

Present a petition to the court of whatever county the child lives in. The petition needs to state the reasons for the request to change the last name of the child. To save money, this process can be executed without an attorney (pro se). All the documents necessary are available online or through the Clerk of the Court in your county. You will need to hire a process server and there will be a filing fee, yet those should be the only costs associated with this process.

Wait for four weeks while the petition for name change is published. Depending on the county and the available publications in that county, the petition for name change will be published in a local paper. In Georgia, a notice of the filing must be published once a week for four consecutive weeks. This will give the public or any other affected parties an opportunity to file an objection.

Obtain written consent of both parents. If a single parent is petitioning the court to change the last name of a child, the written consent of the other parent is needed. If the non-custodial parent has not been a part of the child's life for more than five years, no consent is needed.

Serve both parents. If the person seeking to change the last name of a child in Georgia is not the parent, both parents must be served (and written consent must be obtained).

Wait until proceedings take place at the court to move to change the child's name within 60 days from the date of service upon parents, if there are no objections filed.

About the Author

Sarah Estlund is a freelance writer based out of Kansas City. Originally from the Hawkeye State, she received her degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. Estlund writes a dating column as well as more than 15 blogs ranging in topic from celebrity, fashion, pets, self-help and alternative medicine. She has a love of animals and shares that passion in her writing.

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