If One Parent Will Not Agree to a Name Change
If one parent will not agree to have a child's name changed, the other parent can file papers to request the change. 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.
If you were served with paperwork showing the other parent wants to change a child's name and you disagree, you can file an "Objection" to the proposed name change. This must be filed within 10 business days of when you receive the paperwork. You can find the instructions and forms needed to do this in the Objection Packet.
About Child Name Changes
Children who are residents of Clark County, Nevada can have their names legally changed through the family court. A parent must file for the name change on behalf of the child and explain the reason for the name change. The judge will grant a name change if it is the best interest of the child.
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.
You cannot avoid notifying a parent about a child's proposed name change just because the parent is not involved in the child's life or the parent's location is unknown. You will have to search for the parent and make sure they are served with the name change papers after filing. 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 and object if he/she does not agree.
If the non-consenting parent is deceased or their rights were terminated, one parent can ask for a name change without notifying the other parent. If one of these situations apply, please follow the instructions for Name Changes When Parents Agree.
How to Have a Child's Name Changed
Some judges have different requirements than those explained below. If you have questions, contact the judge's staff to find out what the judge assigned to your case requires. Always follow the judge's directions if they are different from those given here.
A name change for a child is not guaranteed without the other parent's consent.
Make sure to read about the basics of name changes on the Name Change Overview page. Once you are ready to file for a child's name change, follow these five steps:
All of the following documents must be completed to ask the court for a name change:
- Family Court 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
Family Court 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. If you have any other cases at family court that include the other parent and/or your children (for example, child support cases, custody cases, etc.), be sure to fill out the second page with as much information about those cases as you can. The Clerk of Court uses this information to open your case and to make sure all of your cases are assigned to the same judge.
Use the child(ren)'s current legal name when completing this (and all) forms.
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.
Indicate whether the other parent will agree to the name change and if not, why. When the form is complete, sign it in front of a notary.
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.
Fill out the form completely.
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.
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.
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. You will give this to the judge after you have finished the rest of the steps. Complete all sections 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.
The fee to file these papers is $270. The fee is payable by cash, money order, or most major credit/debit cards. If you cannot afford the fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.
You can file your papers one of three ways:
In Person: Bring your filing fee and the forms to the Family Courts and Services Center. You will be able to file your papers in person at the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, but you must arrive by 3:40 p.m. to see a Clerk before closing. Be sure to arrive before then.
By Mail: If you cannot come to the court during business hours, you can mail your forms and the filing fee to:
Family Courts and Services Center
Attn: Clerk of Court
601 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
- Online: Many documents can be filed online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV. There is a fee of $3.50 to upload your documents, in addition to the regular filing fee. You must register for an account, you must provide a valid email address, and you must be able to scan and upload your documents.
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. Visit the Sheriff’s Civil Process Section for more information on their fees and services.
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 family court.
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. Download the packet below and follow all of the included instructions to request permission to publish.
The judge usually requires a hearing before approving a child's name change without both parents' consent. The hearing is called a "prove up" or an "uncontested" hearing. This is a short hearing where the judge can ask you some questions before deciding whether to approve the child's name change.
To set a hearing, fill out an Uncontested Setting Slip and bring it to the courthouse. A clerk will set a court date for you when you file the form. The judge cannot grant the name change until 10 days after the last date the notice was published. Make sure your hearing date is scheduled for at least 10 days after the final publication date.
If you did not already fill out the Order for Child's Name Change when you filled out your other paperwork, complete the form now. Complete all sections except for the date and signature line for the judge.
Go to the hearing on the scheduled day and bring the order with you. The judge will ask you some questions and decide whether to grant the name change. If the judge approves of the name change, give the judge the Order so the judge can sign it.
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 for a small fee from the Clerk of Court's Records Department.
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.