Name Change – General – Colorado
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name by an adult in Colorado, but does include basic and other provisions.
Name Change Action Allowed: In Colorado, a person may change their name by filing an action in the District or County Court in the county of the petitioner’s residence with appropriate forms.
Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.
Who is an minor? A person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered an minor.
Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes. The court must find that the requested name change is proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person. A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations. A person can not change their name to defraud any person.
Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must find the change proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.
Is Publication of a Notice of the Petition Required? No. But, if the Petition is granted, the Petitoner is required to publish the change of name 3 times in a newspaper within the county where the Petitioner resides.
Can individuals “object” to my Petition for Name Change? Yes. Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court’s findings as to whether the change of name is proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person.
Procedures: The name change process begins with the filing of a Petition for Name Change in the District or County Court where the Petitioner resides. The Petition sets forth the Petitioner’s full name, the name the Petitioner wishes to assume, and a concise statement of the reasons for the requested name change. If the Court is satisfied that the name change is proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person, the Petition will be approved. The court will then issue an Order approving the name change.
The Petitioner then must give public notice of the name change by publishing the Order for Change of Name three times in a newspaper within the county of their residence.
Petition – proceedings:
(a)(I) Every person desiring to change his or her name may present a petition to that effect, verified by affidavit, to the district or county court in the county of the petitioner’s residence, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (a.5) of this subsection (1). The petition shall include:
(A) The petitioner’s full name;
(B) The new name desired; and
(C) A concise statement of the reason for the name change.
(II) If the petitioner is over fourteen years of age, the petition shall also include the results of a certified, fingerprint-based criminal history record check conducted pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subsection (1) within ninety days prior to the date of the filing of the petition.
(III) If the petitioner is under nineteen years of age, the petition shall also include the caption of any proceeding in which a court has ordered child support, allocation of parental responsibilities, or parenting time regarding the petitioner.
(a.5) If the petitioner is under nineteen years of age and is the subject of an action concerning child support, allocation of parental responsibilities, or parenting time, then the petition for name change shall be filed in the court having jurisdiction over the action concerning child support, allocation of parental responsibilities, or parenting time.
(b) The fingerprint-based criminal history check shall include arrests, conviction records, any criminal dispositions reflected in the Colorado bureau of investigation and federal bureau of investigation records, and fingerprint processing by the federal bureau of investigation and the Colorado bureau of investigation. The petitioner shall be responsible for providing certified copies of any criminal dispositions that are not reflected in the Colorado bureau of investigation or federal bureau of investigation records and any other dispositions which are unknown.
(c) The petitioner shall be responsible for supplying fingerprints to the Colorado bureau of investigation and to the federal bureau of investigation and for obtaining the fingerprint-based criminal history record checks. The petitioner shall also be responsible for the cost of such checks.
(1.5) Unless the petitioner has shown good cause why the publication provisions of section 13-15-102 should not apply, the court shall order the petitioner to publish notice as provided in section 13-15-102 and file proof of the publication with the court.
(2)(a) Upon receipt of proof of publication or upon an order of the court stating that publication is not required, the court, except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection (2), shall order the name change to be made and spread upon the records of the court in proper form if the court is satisfied that the desired change would be proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person.
(b) The court shall not grant a petition for a name change if the court finds the petitioner was previously convicted of a felony or adjudicated a juvenile delinquent for an offense that would constitute a felony if committed by an adult in this state or any other state or under federal law. If the certified, fingerprint-based criminal history check filed with the petition reflects a criminal charge for which there is no disposition shown, the court may grant the name change after affirmation in open court by the petitioner, or submission of a signed affidavit by the petitioner, stating he or she has not been convicted of a felony in this state or any other state or under federal law. [Colo.Rev.Stat., Title 13 – Courts and Court Procedure, Article 15 – Change of Name, § 13-15-101]
Publication of change:
(1)Public notice of such change of name shall be given at least three times in a newspaper published in the county where such person is residing within twenty days after the order of the court is made, and, if no newspaper is published in that county, such notice shall be published in a newspaper in such county as the court directs.
(2) Public notice of such name change through publication as required in subsection(1) of this section shall not be required if the petitioner has been:
(a) The victim of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), C.R.S.;
(b) The victim of child abuse, as defined in section 18-6-401, C.R.S.; or
(c) The victim of domestic abuse as that term is defined in section 14-4-101 (2), C.R.S. [Colo. Rev. Stat., Title 13 – Courts and Court Procedure, Article 15 – Change of Name, § 13-15-102]
Additional Information and Instructions
Rule 8. Functions of County Court Magistrates
d)Functions in Civil Cases: A county court magistrate may perform any or all of the following functions in a civil proceeding:
(1) Without consent:
(A) Conduct proceedings with regard to petitions for name change, pursuant to C.R.S. section 13-15-101.
(2) With consent:
(A) Conduct civil trials to court and hearings on motions.
Other Name Change References:
Competence of persons eighteen years of age or older:
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law enacted or any judicial decision made prior to July 1, 1973, every person, otherwise competent, shall be deemed to be of full age at the age of eighteen years or older for the following specific purposes:
(a) To enter into any legal contractual obligation and to be legally bound thereby to the full extent as any other adult person; but such obligation shall not be considered a family expense of the parents of the person who entered into the contract, under section 14-6-110, C.R.S.;
(b) To manage his estate in the same manner as any other adult person.
This section shall not apply to custodial property given or held under the terms of the “Colorado Uniform Transfers to Minors Act”, article 50 of title 11, C.R.S., or property held for a protected person under the “Colorado Probate Code”, article 14 of title 15, C.R.S., unless otherwise permitted in said articles;
(c) To sue and be sued in any action to the full extent as any other adult person in any of the courts of this state, without the necessity for a guardian ad litem or someone acting in his behalf;
(d) To make decisions in regard to his own body and the body of his issue, whether natural or adopted by such person, to the full extent allowed to any other adult person. [Colo. Rev. Stat., Title 13 – Courts and Court Procedure, Article 22 – Age of Competence – Arbitration – Mediation, §13-22-101]