In a Georgia divorce, there are two documents where you can ask for your name to be restored back to your maiden name. If you are positive that you wish to change your name back to your maiden name, then your request is listed in the Complaint for Divorce, which is the initial pleading filed with the Court. Most times, the wife is unsure whether she wants to keep her married name or change her name back to her maiden name. According to O.C.G.A. § 19-5-16, you can request to restore your maiden name in the Complaint for Divorce, but it is not final until your divorce is finalized. There is a section in the Final Judgment and Decree that specifically asks for the Court to restore the wife’s name back to her maiden name. If you desire to change your name back,then you will need to list the name as you would like it to appear on the Final Judgment and Decree. Once the judge signs the Final Judgment and Decree, you can change her name back to your maiden name.
Even though the judge signs the Final Judgment and Decree, there are several other steps that you must take to legally change your name on documents. When you obtain a copy of the Final Judgment and Decree signed by the judge, you are only receiving a date-stamped copy from the court. If you want to legally change your name on your social security card, your drivers license or your bank account, then you will need to obtain a certified copy of the Final Judgment and Decree. You can obtain a certified copy from the Clerk of Superior Court of the county in which your divorce was granted and depending on the size of the Final Judgment and Decree, it typically costs only a few dollars. Most clerk of court are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on certain holidays. Before driving to the courthouse, it is recommended that you contact the Clerk’s office for their particular hours of operation.