Name Changes After Divorce & Remarriage in Georgia

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

Name Changes After Divorce & Remarriage in Georgia

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

After a divorce or a subsequent remarriage, it is common to want to change your name. You can take back your maiden name or adopt your new spouse's last name easily when getting married or divorced in Georgia. If you don't include that change as part of either process, you can still go through the court system at any time.

Woman reading paperwork

Changing Your Name in a Divorce and a Marriage

If you know during your divorce proceeding that you want to change back to a maiden or prior name, you can include the request as part of your divorce petition or response. When the court issues the final decree of divorce, it will include the change. You can then take the court order to the Social Security Administration and the Department of Driver Services (DDS) to update your identification documents. You need updated identification to change your identity on bank accounts, investments, insurance policies, and other financial records.

Similarly, you do not need to go to court to change your name if you do so as part of your marriage or remarriage. When you complete the marriage license application, simply indicate the name you want to use after the marriage. You may keep your current one, take your new spouse's, hyphenate your own, or use your maiden name as your new middle name, or take on a new last name. After the marriage, simply take the marriage certificate to the Social Security Administration, DDS, and other government offices as appropriate to update your legal identification.

Petitioning for Name Change

If you don't change your name during your divorce or marriage but decide to do so later, you can petition your county Superior Court to make the change. Provide your current name, birth date, address, your desired new name, and the reason for the change.

Within seven days of filing your petition with the Superior Court, you must also post a notice in your local newspaper. This notice documents your intention to change your name and gives anyone who might object to the change an opportunity to voice their objections. After this notice runs once each week for four weeks, schedule a hearing with your county clerk's office. The judge will consider your petition and any objections to it before ruling on your request.

If the court approves the change, you can take the court order to government offices as described above to update your identification documents.

Changing Your Child's Name

You cannot change your child's last name by getting married or divorced. If you want to do this, his or her other parent must consent to the change. You have to file a separate legal petition to change the child's name in court. This process is similar to the petition process described above.

Petitioning for a change can definitely seem like an extensive process, so it's easier to make sure you're filling out the necessary information on either a divorce or marriage certificate. If you weren't able to provide a decision at that time if you wanted to change your name, you'll have to petition for it instead. Be sure you're following Georgia's laws so that you'll be able to legally change your name when that time comes.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.