How Much Does It Cost To Change Your Child’s Name In Georgia?
Child Name Change Costs in Georgia
Changing a Child’s Last Name is a big deal. And, sometimes you want to change your child’s first or middle names too. Name Change Georgia doesn’t take long. It’s not free or simple, but It’s really important to get Your Child’s Name exactly the way it should be. This short article will give you information about all the Child Name Change Costs in Georgia, and how EZ Name Change can you through the process.
Legal Name Change is commonly understood to mean the process of getting a Superior Court Order stating that your child’s existing legal name has been changed to a new legal name. To get that Court Order, you have to go through an established legal process correctly, be approved and have your Court Order signed by a judge of the Superior Court in Georgia.
The Child Name Change Costs in Georgia are not based on how much of your child’s current legal name is to be changed. The process, and costs, are based on the process itself, whether you’re changing just your child’s last name, or whether you also change any part of the first or middle names with or without a last name change too. Any part, even if it’s just one letter. If you want your child’s name legally changed on a birth certificate, ID, school registration and/or other Official Records, the process for that is called a “name change”.
You just need to do everything correctly in the process, and EZ Name Change can help you!
Summary of Costs to Change a Child’s Name
The total costs will depend on whether both parents agree to the child’s name change, what county you live in now, and how many Certified Copies you want. Here’s an approximate summary of what you need to spend if you have EZ Name Change do your Petition, and both parents consent to the name change:
- Full Service Petition $190
- Court Filing Fee $214 (200-290, depending on county)
- Legal Announcement in Newspaper $100 (60-207, depending on county)
$504 – Total Full Service Costs to Change Child’s Name (approx., add costs for serving the other Parent if appropriate). You would pay $115 of it when you start and then the balance after you return the signed Petition in our Return Envelope.
Certified Copy(s) $10.00 (4 Certified Copies, paid to the court, upon approval).
Notary $30.00 (paid to the Notary; can be free or up to $100 for mobile notary service). $10 per notarized signature; 3 notarized signatures required when both Parents agree.
Categories of Costs to Change Your Child’s Name
There are 4 categories of Child Name Change Costs in Georgia:
- The Petition Paperwork
- Filing the Petition
- Providing Legal Notifications
- Certified Copy of Decree (Court Order)
The Petition Paperwork
The “Petition” is actually a set of 5-9 or more name change forms. First, fill them all out and file them in a proper Superior Court. You can fill out all the forms yourself or you can have us prepare it all for you. You can get blank forms, at no cost, from any Georgia Superior Court. We charge an industry low $190 to help with all the Petition documents, handle all the court filing and payment, and arrange and pay for the required newspaper publications. Or, you can have a lawyer do this for you but be prepared to spend another $400-$2000 or more for that. You won’t have to spend any money to do them all yourself, but if you do that, be prepared to spend a chunk of time – many hours. You will also need to spend $20 or $30 for notarization of signatures.
If your Petition isn’t complete, or if it is incorrectly prepared or pursued, it can mean delays or denial (see Georgia Code § 19-12-1).
Filing Your Petition
The Georgia Courts charge a standard Filing Fee, which is subject to change at any time by the State and/or County. As of 2023, the Court Filing costs are typically $214 but can be as much as $267 or as little as $204, depending on where you live now.
Multiple children’s names can be changed in one Petition Filing if they’re in the same family, live together, and the Petition is prepared correctly. Also, filing costs don’t change whether one or both parents consent to the proposed name change.
The Superior Court can waive their fees for Filing and Certified Copies if you qualify. With EZ Name Change FULL SERVICE, we can help you with the forms to Request to Waive Court Costs, at no extra charge.
Legal Notification in Newspaper
The Georgia Law (see GA Code § 19-12-1 (d)) requires that you advertise some of the Petition information in a legal notice newspaper. Doing this is generally referred to as giving public notice, or advertising, of your proposed Name Change and has to be done the way the Georgia law directs in the, or one of the newspapers that the county courts recognize as the official publisher in the county of the filing. After all the publishing finishes, Proof of that publication must be filed with the court and then the Hearing can be requested.
Therefore, Child Name Change in Georgia includes costs for you to advertise in one of the court-qualified newspapers. Newspapers set their own rates for advertising. On the low side, We’ve seen rates as low as $60 and as high as over $207. $90-100 is an average rate for Name Change Advertising in a qualified newspaper. If you use EZ Name Change Full Service to help with all this, we’ll take care of all those arrangements for you. You will only need one ad, run correctly (once/wk for 4 weeks), even if you are changing more than 1 child’s name.
If both parents do not consent to the child’s name change, you may be required to pay for a second ad. The purpose of the second ad would be to provide required notice to that other non-consenting parent in the event you were unable to provide that notice.
Serving a Parent
This will cost $0 to $100, depending on your situation.
If both parents will be signing the Petition, then there are no costs to Serve a Parent.
If only one parent is signing the Petition, then the non-signing parent must either be Served or a Declaration must be filed to explain why that Service isn’t reasonably possible to do. Your judge will decide if more is needed or not.
To Serve a non-consenting Parent will usually cost between $0 and $100, depending on where the other parent lives/works now and what type of process you use to Serve, or if you can’t Serve and have to file a Declaration.
Serving Legal Notice, which must also be done a certain way, on the Child’s other parent can cost you as little as $0 (if you have an adult friend or relative do it as a favor), or the cost of postage (Certified, Return Receipt about $14-if the other parent is out of state or out of country), or as much as $35-100 for a private process server or a Marshall/Sheriff to personally Serve.
If the other parent can’t be found, is deceased, or is unknown, then you can submit a Declaration to explain the details about why the other parent can’t be Served. There is $0 cost for you to prepare and file a Declaration yourself. EZ Name Change can help you with the Petition process – we can prepare and file your Declaration for $75.
More About How EZ Name Change Can Help
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