If one parent will not agree to have a child's name changed, the other parent can file papers to have a judge legally change the child's name.  The non-consenting parent must be served with copies of the name change papers and given a chance to object. A judge may or may not grant a child's name change without the other parent's consent.  Read on for more information about how to petition for a child's name change when only one parent is asking for the name change.

About Child Name Changes

Children who live in Nevada can have their names legally changed through the district court. A parent must file for the name change on behalf of the child and explain the reason for the name change. 

Typically, both parents must agree to have a child's name changed.  However, one parent can ask for a name change and serve the other parent with the name change papers to see if the other parent will object.    

Notifying a parent about a child's proposed name change cannot be avoided just because the parent is not involved in the child's life or the parent's location is unknown. The other parent must be served with the name change papers and must be given a chance to object. A judge may grant the name change without the other parent's consent, but the other parent does have a right to know about the proposed name change.   

The judge may deny the name change request if the other parent will not agree

FYI!

If the non-consenting parent is deceased, their rights were terminated, or if the other parent is the father but the father is truly unknown, one parent can ask for a name change without notifying the other parent. If one of these situations apply, please follow the instructions for Child Name Changes When Parents Agree.  

 

How to Have a Child's Name Changed  

Make sure to read about the basics of name changes on the Name Change Overview page and the Frequently Asked Questions. Once you are ready to file for a child's name change, follow the steps below

 

Step 1. Complete the Papers

All of the following documents must be completed to ask the court for a name change:

  • Civil Cover Sheet
  • Petition for Child's Name Change
  • Notice of Petition for Child's Name Change
  • Consent to Name Change (for parents and children 14 and older)
  • Order for Child's Name Change
      

Civil Cover Sheet

This form asks for basic information about the parent who is filing the paperwork and the child(ren) so the Clerk of Court can open your case. You are the Petitioner.  Use the child(ren)'s current legal name when completing this (and all) forms.

Civil Cover Sheet (pdf fillable)

 

Petition for Child's Name Change

This form tells the Court about the child's current name, the new name you would like the child to have, and the reasons why. You can ask for up to 2 children's names to be changed. Where the form asks for the child's current name, use the current full legal name.  

Petition for Child's Name Change (pdf fillable)

Petition for Child's Name Change (pdf)

 

Notice of Petition for Child's Name Change

This form is directed to the non-consenting parent.  It lets the other parent know about the proposed name change, and what to do if they want to object. 

Notice of Petition for Child's Name Change (pdf fillable)

Notice of Petition for Child's Name Change (pdf)


Consent to Child's Name Change (for parents and older children)

If the other parent will agree to the child's name change, the parent can fill out this form. This form must be signed in front of a notary.

Parent's Consent to Child's Name Change (pdf fillable)

Parent's Consent to Child's Name Change (pdf)

In addition, a child age 14 or older must consent to their own name change. If any of the children are 14 or older, each child must complete a consent.

Child's Consent to Child's Name Change (pdf fillable)

Child's Consent to Child's Name Change (pdf)

 

Order for Child's Name Change

This is the form the judge signs to grant the child's name change. Although this will not be needed until the last step, it is best to fill it out ahead of time and save it for later. This will be given to the judge after you have finished all of the rest of the steps. Complete all sections on the form except for the date and signature line for the judge. Make sure to indicate whether or not a new birth certificate should be issued for the child with the new name.

Order for Child's Name Change (pdf fillable)

Order for Child's Name Change (pdf)

 

Step 2. File the Papers

After you fill out the papers above, you will need to file them with the district court in your county.  Visit Find My Court if you are not sure where your local district court is located.

The court will charge you a filing fee to file your papers.  The fee is different in every county.  Find out from your local court what the filing fee will be. 

If you cannot afford the filing fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.

 

Step 3. Serve the Other Parent

Any living parent who still has parental rights to the child should be served with a copy of the Petition and the Notice of Petition. The way to serve the other parent depends on the following:

  • If you know or can find out where the other parent is located: The parent must be personally served with the Petition and the Notice of Petition.  The parent filing for the name change cannot serve the other parent.  Someone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the case must hand-deliver the documents to the parent. You can ask someone you know to serve the documents, or you can hire the sheriff or a private process service. 

    Whoever serves the other parent must fill out a Proof of Service form that says when, where, and how the other parent was served.  Make sure this form is completed and filed at the court.

    Proof of Service (pdf fillable)    Proof of Service (pdf)

    The other parent can file an "objection" if they disagree with the name change.  If they do, a hearing will be set for both parents to talk to the judge.

  • If you have had no contact with the other parent and do not know where to find him or her: You can ask the judge's permission to post a notice in a newspaper for three weeks instead of having the other parent served in person.  You will have to fill out some forms explaining everything that was done to try and find the other parent to have them served.  It will be up to the judge whether to allow you to publish the notice instead of having it served.  Follow all of the steps below to request publication:

    • First, mail the Petition and the Notice to the parent's last known address by certified or registered mail.  Complete the Certificate of Mailing with the details of when and where you mailed it.  File this form at the court.

           Certificate of Mailing (pdf)

       
    • Second, search for the parent through any possible source.  This includes checking with friends, family, employers, looking online, etc., to see if you can find the parent.  Some judges require someone other than you to do the search.  If the parent is found, have them served personally.  If you still cannot find them after a thorough search, fill out the following two affidavits and a proposed order for the judge. 

          Affidavit for Service by Publication (pdf)

          Affidavit of Due Diligence (pdf)

          Order for Service by Publication (pdf)

      File the two affidavits and bring the original order to the court.
       
    • Third, submit the papers to the judge.  The judge will review your paperwork and decide if the judge thinks it is appropriate to publish a notice to the missing parent.  If so, you will get your signed order back from the judge.  Contact a local paper and arrange to have the Notice of Petition to Change Child's Name published for three consecutive weeks.
       
    • Fourth, make sure the Affidavit of Publication is filed.  After publication is complete, the newspaper will prepare an "Affidavit of Publication." This document must be filed with the court as proof that publication was completed.  

  

Step 4.  Submit the Order to the Judge

When all of the above steps are finished, you must wait at least 10 days after the other parent was served to see if the other parent objects to the name change.  If so, the other parent must file a written objection and set a court date.

If the other parent does not file an objection, the judge can sign a final order changing the child's name. You must file a "Request for Summary Disposition" asking the judge to approve the name change, and you must also prepare an order for the judge to review and sign. If you did not already fill out the order when you filled out your other paperwork, complete the form now. Complete all sections except for the date and signature line for the judge.

Request for Summary Disposition & Declaration in Support (pdf fillable)

Request for Summary Disposition & Declaration in Support (pdf)

Order for Child's Name Change (pdf fillable)

Order for Child's Name Change (pdf)

File the request with the clerk and submit the order to the judge for approval.  Find out from your local court where to turn these papers in to the judge.

The judge will review your papers, and decide whether to grant the name change. The judge's staff might call you when the order is signed so you can pick it up and file it yourself, or the judge's staff might send the order to you in the mail.  

FYI!

Once you get your signed order, you will need to contact every agency and office where you wish to change the child's name so they can update the child's information. They will usually require a certified copy of the name change order, which you can obtain from the Clerk of Court.

If your order includes a request for a new birth certificate with the child's new name, you will need to contact the vital records department where the child was born to find out their requirements. If the child was born in Nevada, please see the Nevada Office of Vital Statistics to find out how to get the birth certificate changed.

About This Website

This website is intended to provide general information, forms, and resources for people who are representing themselves in Nevada's courts without a lawyer. There may be additional information you need to know depending on where your case is being handled. If you will be representing yourself in Clark County or Washoe County, you should visit those self-help websites for specialized forms and instructions.