Both Parents Agree to Change Their Child's Name

If you and the child’s other parent agree to change your child's name, you can choose to file your request in court together. First, you file the Petition for Change of Name for your child. Then, you will get a court date between 6 and 12 weeks away. If the court approves your request, you will get a court order called a "decree" changing your child's name. The court process can take up to 3 months, though in busier courts it may take longer.

If you are asking the court to change your child’s name to conform to their gender identity, see Changing a Child's Name to Conform to Gender Identity.

If only 1 parent is filing for the change of name, even if the other parent agrees to the change, click for the instructions when only one parent is filing for a name change.

To file together, follow these steps:

You have two options to fill out your forms:

  1. Complete your forms online.

  2. Download and fill out the forms listed below:
    • Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-100), including the Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-110). You need 1 attachment for each child whose name you want to change. Both parents must sign each attachment.
    • Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (Form NC-120).
    • Civil Case Cover Sheet (Form CM-010).

Some courts also require you to fill out local forms to ask for a name change. Ask your local court clerk if there are local forms you have to fill out. You may be able to find local court forms on your superior court's website.

If your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center helps people with name change cases, ask them to review your paperwork. They can make sure you filled it out properly before you move ahead with your case.

The court will keep the original. One copy will be for you and the other will be for your child's other parent. You will need the third copy to publish it in the newspaper.

File all your forms with the copies in the court in the county where your child lives. The clerk will stamp your forms with “Filed,” keep the original and return the copies to you. The Order to Show Cause will have information on your court date, time, and department number.

You will have to pay a filing fee. Find out how much the filing fee is for a first petition (sometimes called a “first appearance” or “first papers”). If you cannot afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.

In most cases you must publish the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (Form NC-120) in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for 4 weeks in a row. Your court most likely has a list of newspapers that are approved for publishing legal notices.

The cost for publication can vary greatly between newspapers and your court fee waiver will not waive your publication fees. So it is very important that you check the price of publishing BEFORE you put the name of the newspaper in the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name. This is because once the judge signs the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name you must publish in the newspaper listed on the form. You cannot change the form after it is signed.

Go to court on your hearing date and take your proof that the Order to Show Cause was published in the newspaper, along with the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130) for the judge to sign.

If the judge approves your request for a change of name, the judge will sign the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130). Once you get your signed decree, get a certified copy from the court clerk. You will need this to change your child’s birth certificate, social security card, and other papers like a passport.

Click for instructions on changing your child's birth certificate after a court order.