Name Changes After Divorce & Remarriage in Georgia

By Terry White

Changing your status to “single” on Facebook is a snap. But in real life, you can’t simply click “divorced.” In Georgia, those who want to restore their name upon divorce must take additional action. A child’s name, however, cannot be changed through divorce. Don’t worry. If you forget to change your name during your divorce, you can do it anytime in Georgia.

Changing your status to “single” on Facebook is a snap. But in real life, you can’t simply click “divorced.” In Georgia, those who want to restore their name upon divorce must take additional action. A child’s name, however, cannot be changed through divorce. Don’t worry. If you forget to change your name during your divorce, you can do it anytime in Georgia.

Restoring Your Previous Name

Georgia allows a couple, upon marriage, to choose their surnames. Each spouse can keep his or her own name, take the other's surname or keep a combination of both. It naturally follows that both spouses can restore their previous name upon divorce. The most efficient way to accomplish this is within the divorce petition. Since a name change is part of the divorce, there is no additional cost.

Get help changing your legal name. Learn More

Name Change Upon Remarriage

A divorced person, upon remarriage in Georgia, can adopt her maiden name, take her new spouse’s surname, or keep the name used during a previous marriage. For instance, Betty Smith Jones, who is divorced but planning to remarry, can keep her married name Jones if she chooses. She also has the options of taking her new spouse’s surname, combining her new spouse’s surname with Jones or reverting to her maiden name of Smith.

Changing a Child's Name

Georgia law does not allow a child’s name to be changed as part of a divorce proceeding. It must be done in Superior Court by filing a Petition to Change Name of Minor Child and both parents must consent. The only exceptions to the requirement of mutual consent are if one parent is deceased, abandoned the child or has not supported the child for five years. Once consent is complete, you must place notice of the name change petition in a local newspaper. If both parents live in Georgia, there is a waiting period of 30 days. If a parent lives outside Georgia, the waiting period doubles.

Going to Court for a Child

Take all legal papers with you, including your petition, proof of consent, affidavit from newspaper confirming publication of notice, and a final order for name change. The judge will usually handle your case in chambers, where you will be placed under oath. The judge will ask your reasons for requesting the name change. If approved, the judge will sign the final order. Once you have a certified copy of the final order, you can amend the child’s name on his or her birth certificate.

Tell the Bureaucrats

It is critical after marriage or divorce to inform the Driver Services Department and Social Security Administration of your new name. Georgia requires that the name on your Social Security card match the name on your driver’s license. If not, the state can cancel your driver’s license.

Oops!

If you forget to change your name during a divorce, you can change it at any time by filing a petition for a name change. The steps involved are similar to those required for changing the name of a minor.

Get help changing your legal name. Learn More
California Requirements to Legally Change a Person's Name

References

Related articles

Laws on Name Changes Involving Marriages in Georgia

Traditionally, a woman changed her last name to her husband's name when they married. However, traditions are changing and many women no longer take their husband's names. In fact, an increasing number of men are taking their wives' last names. Georgia is one of the few states offering complete equality in its marriage name change laws. Both spouses are permitted to change their last names on the marriage license without having to file a name change petition or advertise the name change.

Can a Divorced Woman Keep Her Husband's Last Name?

After a divorce, a woman is free to keep her husband's last name, revert back to her maiden name or choose an entirely new name of her liking. Although name changes are controlled by state law, most states allow individuals to change their name with relative ease. Therefore, after divorce or even during marriage, a woman is free to take any name she chooses.

Can You Legally Change Your Last Name Before Getting Divorced in Arizona?

Name changes are common with divorce, and Arizona divorce decrees can include an order changing either spouse's name back to her former last name. However, spouses can change their names before divorce as well. Arizona law allows adults to ask the state's courts to change their names regardless of their marriage situation.

Doing the right thing has never been easier.

Related articles

Legal Name Change Options

There are a number of reasons people change their name, including unifying a family, getting married or starting fresh ...

How to Make a Legal Name Change in West Virginia

There are a number of reasons people change their names, and West Virginia law allows people to change their names by ...

Legal Name Change Methods

People choose to change their names for a variety of reasons, including marriage, divorce or to share the last name of ...

How to Change a Minor's Last Name With Divorced Parents in Maryland

A divorce often means a name change for both parent and child. In Maryland, you must file the appropriate forms to ...

Browse by category