A petition for name change of an adult or on behalf of a minor should be brought in Superior Court. There are very specific requirements that should be included in a petition for name change. One of the most important requirements is the reason why a name change is desired.
Unless the Court makes a finding that the Petitioner is a victim of family violence or human trafficking, then the Petitioner shall cause a notice to be published in the legal organ of the county in which the petition is pending. The notice must be published once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks. The first publication should occur within seven (7) days of filing the action.
Objections to name changes should be heard in chambers. O.C.G.A § 19-12-2d
The standard the Court should be considering during a name change action is "the best interest of the child". Riggins v. Stirgus, 319 Ga. App. 790 (2013). Carden v. Warren, 269 Ga. App. 275 (2001). This is one of the reasons the purpose for the desired name change in the petition is so critical, and this point must be very well articulated at the hearing.
It is our recommendation that you meet with an experienced family law attorney to determine if you will need consent from the other party or if your case will meet the standard for abandonment. We offer free consultations on all cases and are happy to discuss your case with you.