When both parents agree to change a child's name, the parents can file papers to have a judge legally change the child's name. Only one parent's consent is needed under certain limited circumstances. Read on for more information about how to have a child's name changed when both parents are in agreement and when the other parent's consent is not needed.
About Child Name Changes
Children who live in Nevada can have their names legally changed through the district court. The parents 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. One parent can have a child's name changed under the limited circumstances described below.
The instructions on this page only apply if:
- Both parents agree to the name change and will sign the legal papers; OR
- One parent is deceased; OR
- One parent's rights have been terminated; OR
- The father cannot consent because no father is named on the child's birth certificate and the father is truly unknown.
If none of the above apply, please follow the instructions for Child Name Changes When Parents Do Not Agree.
A parent's consent to a child's 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 parent must be notified of the proposed name change 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. Please see Child Name Changes When Parents Do Not Agree for further information.
How to Get a Child's Name Changed
Step 1. Complete the Papers
All of the following documents must be completed to ask the court for a name change:
Family Cover Sheet - required
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.
Petition for Child's Name Change - required
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. Where the form asks for the child's new name, use the full legal name you want the child to be known by in the future.
Both parents should sign this form in front of a notary.
Consent to Child's Name Change - required for children 14 and older
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 separate consent.
Request for Summary Disposition & Declaration in Support - required
This form asks the judge to approve the child's name change without you having to appear at a hearing. When both parents agree to the name change, or a parent is deceased or has no legal rights, the child's name change is usually approved without a hearing.
Both parents must sign this form.
Order for Child's Name Change - required
This is the form the judge signs to approve 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 turned into 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.
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. Submit the Order to the Judge
When all of the above steps are finished, the judge can sign a final order changing the child's name. You must 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.
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 if everything is completed properly, the judge will sign the order. 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.
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.