New Mexico Name Change Requirements

General Summary of Name Change Laws

The Courts are often willing to accept name changes for almost any legitimate reason. However, the granting of an application for change of name is discretionary with the Court. For an order/decree/judgment of name change to be granted, the Court must find compliance with the requirements of notice and the requirements for the allegations in the application. The Court must also find good and sufficient reason for the change, find the change consistent with the public interest and if the change of name is for a minor child, find that the change is in the best interests of the minor child.

You cannot change your/one's name for a fraudulent purpose, such as to avoid debts, you cannot change to a name that could affect the rights of another person, such as a celebrity, you cannot use a curse word, racial slur, obscene and/or an offensive word as part of your/one's name and you cannot change to a name that would cause deliberate confusion (for example, a name with punctuation and/or a number in it).

IMPORTANT NOTE: For name change actions, which involve a minor, our materials are strictly for use if both parents consent to the name change. If one parent does not consent, our materials are not appropriate. The applicant may wish to contact a local lawyer, bar association, etc.

Again, please remember, our name change materials are designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes ONLY.

Requirements to File For a Change of Name for an Adult in New Mexico

New Mexico law requires certain things before you can file for a name change and/or during the name change process in New Mexico. These requirements include:

  • You must file in the District Court's nearest location to your residence.
  • You must have lived within the State of New Mexico and the County in which you will be filing your application in for at least six (6) months.
  • You must be fourteen (14) years of age or older.
  • You must have proper and reasonable cause for the requested change of name.
  • You are not changing your name to avoid debts or to defraud creditors or anyone else.

General Summary of Name Change Laws in New Mexico for an Adult

In New Mexico, a person fourteen (14) years of age or older, who wishes, for good cause shown, to change their name must file their application in the District Court nearest to their residence. As indicated above, the Petitioner (the person who initiates the suit/application) must have lived within the State of New Mexico and the County in which they will be filing their application in for at least six (6) months.

The Verified Petition includes personal information as required by statute, such as the Petitioner's name, the new name the Petitioner wishes to adopt and the reasons for the request for change of name.

After filing the Verified Petition and paying the required filing fee for such, the Court will typically assign your case to a judge. Thereafter, the Petitioner will formally request a hearing date to be set (in usually thirty (30) days).

During this interim, the Petitioner must publish a notice of their requested name change. The notice must be published in a newspaper in the county where the Petitioner resides. The notice is to be published at least once (1) each week for two (2) consecutive weeks. If there is no newspaper published in the county where the Petitioner resides, then said notice shall be published in a newspaper printed in a county nearest to the residence of the Petitioner, and having a circulation in the county where the Petitioner resides.

Both publications MUST be completed before the court hearing. After publication is complete, the Petitioner must submit proof of publication to the clerk of the Court. This is accomplished by filing an affidavit or some proof of publication provided by the newspaper verifying the publication. The proof should be attached to a copy of the published notice and filed with the clerk.

At the hearing, the Court may take evidence from all interested parties. The Court may grant or refuse the requested change of name. In the event that anyone files an objection to your request, your case will become a contested case and you are strongly urged to hire an attorney. If you do not retain an attorney you will have to represent yourself in a contested hearing. If the judge is satisfied that there is no reasonable objection to the Petitioner's request for name change, the judge will sign an Order allowing the Petitioner to take the new name.

Requirements to File For a Change of Name for a Minor in New Mexico

New Mexico law has certain requirements before one can file for a name change and/or during the name change process in New Mexico. These requirements include:

  • You must file in the District Court of the county where the minor resides. (Actions may be filed in an adjacent court if there is no District Court in the county.)
  • The Adult Petitioner must be a parent or legal guardian of the minor.
  • The minor must be younger than fourteen (14) years of age. (If the minor is fourteen (14) years old or older, please review our Name Change for an Adult product.)
  • You must have proper and reasonable cause for the requested change of name.
  • You are not changing the minor's name to avoid debts, defraud creditors or anyone else, contribute to a crime, or hide the minor from another party who retains legal rights over the minor.

General Summary of Name Change Laws in New Mexico for a Minor

In New Mexico, an adult parent or guardian, filing on behalf of a minor (person younger than fourteen (14) years of age), who wishes, for good cause shown, to change the minor's name must file an application in the District Court of the minor's county of residence.

The Verified Petition includes personal information as required by statute, such as the Adult Petitioner's name, the Minor's Name, the new name that the Petitioner wishes the Minor to adopt and the reasons for the request for change of name.

Filing fees can change greatly from county to county. Please contact your local court clerk to obtain details of the filing fees in your area.

After filing the Verified Petition and paying the required filing fee for such, the Court will typically assign your case to a judge. Thereafter, the Petitioner will formally request a hearing date to be set (in usually thirty (30) days) by filing the Request for a Hearing.

During this interim, the Petitioner must publish a notice of the requested name change. The notice must be published in a newspaper in the county where the Minor resides. The notice is to be published at least once (1) each week for two (2) consecutive weeks. If there is no newspaper published in the county where the Minor resides, then said notice shall be published in a newspaper printed in a county nearest to the residence of the Minor, and having a circulation in the county where the Minor resides.

Direct service must also be provided to all adults who retain legal rights over the Minor (typically the other legal parent if the action is only filed by one parent). If you cannot locate one of these parties, you must be prepared to explain your efforts and the situation to the court. REMEMBER: Our materials do not account for such. Our minor name change materials are strictly for situations where both biological parents consent to the change of name.

The publication and direct service requirements MUST be completed before the court hearing. After publication is complete, the Petitioner must submit proof of publication to the clerk of the Court. This is accomplished by filing an affidavit, or some proof of publication provided by the newspaper, verifying the publication. The proof should be attached to a copy of the published notice and filed with the clerk. Likewise, Affidavits proving direct service to each adult served should be attached.

At the hearing, the Court may take evidence from all interested parties. The Court may grant or refuse the requested change of name. In the event that anyone files an objection to your request, your case will become a contested case and you are strongly urged to hire an attorney. If you do not retain an attorney you will have to represent yourself in a contested hearing. If the judge is satisfied that there is no reasonable objection to the Minor's request for name change, the judge will sign an Order allowing the Minor to take the new name.

Name Change Forms

Self-Prepared

Adult Name Change $29.95
Minor Name Change $29.95

Paralegal-Prepared

Adult Name Change $99.95
Minor Name Change $119.95

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