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Name Changes for Adult & Child in Las Vegas

Helping Clients in Clark County & Beyond

When an adult wishes to change their name, the action is heard at the Family Court. The guiding principles regarding a name change are governed by NRS 41.270 through 41.290. The steps to a name change include the following:

  1. File a Petition including the current name, desired name change, the reason for the change, whether the person has been convicted of a felony, and the name change is not for fraudulent purposes. If the person seeking the name change has a criminal record, it can be more difficult to get the name change approved by the Court.
  2. Request a Notice that is published in a newspaper of general circulation.
  3. Set a hearing on the Petition for Name Change, if required by the specific Judge hearing the case. In most cases, if a hearing is required, it is set on the Court’s prove-up calendar and lasts no longer than fifteen (15) minutes.

When parents’ desire to change a child’s name by agreement, the process is relatively straightforward and usually granted. The request still has to be published like an adult name change, but there is little chance that the Court will not approve the request.

The more difficult situation is when parents disagree regarding changing the child’s name. The statutory authority comes from NRS 41.291 through 41.299. The steps for changing the child’s name are as follows:

  1. File a Petition including the current name, desired name change, the reason for the change, the name and address of the other parent, whether the child has been convicted of a felony. It is important to understand that when the child is over the age of fourteen (14), the child is required to consent to the name change. Also, consent of the other parent is required or the other parent must be personally served with the Petition.
  2. Request a Notice that is published in a newspaper of general circulation if the other parent cannot be located for the purpose of service of the Petition for Name Change.
  3. Set a hearing on the Petition for Name Change, if required by the specific Judge hearing the case. In most cases, if a hearing is required, it is set on the Court’s prove-up calendar and lasts no longer than fifteen (15) minutes.

In 2017, the Supreme Court ruled in Petit v. Adrianzen, regarding initial name changes for children. The Supreme Court indicated that in a dispute between parents the focus should be the best interest of the minor child. In this specific case, the Supreme Court affirmed a decision issued by Judge Ritchie which hyphenated the child’s name using both parents’ surnames.

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