Nebraska Name Change Law

Name Change – General – Nebraska

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in Nebraska, but does include basic and other provisions.

Name Change Action Allowed: In Nebraska, a person may change their name by filing an action in the District court with appropriate forms.

Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 19 years is considered an adult.  Also, a person arrives at the age of majority upon being married according to law.

Who is a minor? A person who has not attained the age of 19 years is considered a minor.  Also, a person arrives at the age of majority upon being married according to law.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes.  The court must find compliance with the requirements of the law and that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest.  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.

Must the child agree to the name change? No, but the court may consider the wishes of a child old enough to express their wishes in considering whether to grant the Petition.

Must the parent(s) of the minor agree to the name change? The parents, and legal guardian, if any, must be given notice of the Petition. They may then lodge their objections or approval with the District Court.

Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must find that the allegations in the Petition are true, that proper and reasonable cause for the change is present, compliance with the notice requirements of the law, and that the change is consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? Yes.

Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The General Public by way of publication in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which the Petitioner resides.

Can individuals “object” to the Petition for Name Change? Yes.  Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court’s findings as to whether there are proper and reasonable cause for the change and that the change of name is consistent with the public interest.

Procedures:
The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Nebraska begins with the filing of a Petition with the District Court in the jurisdiction in which Petitioner resides.  The Petition informs the Court of the Petitioner’s name, the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt, and the reasons for the requested change of name.

After the Petition is filed and the required fee is paid, the Petitioner is required to give public notice of the relief requested in a local newspaper.  The notice must be published once each week for four calendar weeks.

After publication is complete, the Petitioner must submit proof of publication to the Clerk of the Court.  This is done by filing an affidavit provided by the newspaper verifying publication.  The affidavit is attached to a copy of the published notice and filed with the Clerk.

After publication of notice, if the court is satisfied as to the truth of the allegations contained in the Petition, that proper notice has been published, and that there exists proper and reaonsble cuase for the name change, it is the duty of the District Court to issue and Order authorizing the change of name.

Additonal Information and Instructions

Statutes:

Change of name; authority of district court:
The district court shall have authority to change the names of persons, towns, villages  and  cities  within this state. [Neb. Rev. Stats. Chapter 25 Courts; Civil Procedure, Sec. 25-21,270.]

Annotations:
Whether a minor child’s surname may be changed depends on, and is determined by, the best interests of the child.  Factors to be considered are (1) the misconduct by one of the child’s parents, (2) a parent’s failure to support the child, (3) parental failure to maintain contact with the child, (4) the length of time that a surname has been used for or by the child, and (5) whether the child’s surname is different from the surname of the child’s custodial parent.  Additionally, a court may consider the child’s reasonable preference for a surname; the effect of the name change on the child’s relationship with each parent; community respect associated with the surname; the difficulties, harassment, or embarrassment associated with either the present or proposed surname; and the identification of the child as part of the family unit.  In re Change of Name of Andrews, 235 Neb. 170, 454 N.W. 2d 488 (1990).

Change of name of minor child granted only when the substantial welfare of the child requires the change.  Spatz v. Spatz, 199 Neb. 332, 258 N.W. 2d 814 (1977).

Decree is not a matter of right, but of judicial discretion, and evidence must be produced that there is sufficient and reasonable cause for change of name.  In re Taminosian, 97 Neb. 514, 150 N.W. 824 (1915). [Neb. Rev. Stats. Chapter 61 Courts; Civil Procedure, Sec. 61-101]

Change of name; persons; procedure:

(1)  Any person desiring to change his or her name may file a petition in the district court of the county in  which  such  person may be a resident, setting forth (a) that the petitioner has been a bona fide citizen of such county for at least one year prior to the filing of the petition, (b) the cause for which the change of petitioner’s name is sought, and (c) the name asked for.

(2)  Notice of the filing of the petition shall be published in a newspaper in the county, and if no newspaper is printed in the county, then in a newspaper of general circulation therein. The notice shall be published (a) once a week for four consecutive weeks if the petitioner is nineteen years of age or older at the time the action is filed and (b) once a week for two consecutive weeks if the petitioner is under nineteen years of age at the time the action is filed. In an action involving a petitioner under nineteen years of age who has a noncustodial parent, notice of the filing of the petition shall be sent by certified mail within five days after publication to the noncustodial parent at the address provided to the clerk of the district court pursuant to subsection (1) of section 42-364.13 for the noncustodial parent if he or she has provided an address. The clerk of the district court shall provide the petitioner with the address upon request.

(3) It shall be the duty of the district court, upon being duly satisfied by proof in open court of the truth of the allegations set forth in the petition, that there exists proper and reasonable cause for changing the name of the petitioner, and that notice of the filing of the petition has been given as required by this section, to order and direct a change of name of such petitioner and that an order for the purpose be made in the journals of the court.  [Neb. Rev. Stats. Chapter 25 Courts; Civil Procedure, Sec. 25-21,271.]


Change of name; town, village, or city; procedure

(1) Whenever it may be desirable to change the name of any town, village, or city in any county of the state, a petition for that purpose may, in like manner, be filed in the district court of such county, signed by a majority of the legal voters of such town, village, or city, setting forth the cause why such change is desirable and the name desired to be substituted.

(2) Notice of the filing of the petition shall be published once a week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper in the county, and if no newspaper is printed in the county, then in a newspaper of general circulation therein.

(3) The court, upon being satisfied by proof that the prayer of the petitioners is reasonable and just, that notice as required in this section has been given, that two-thirds of the legal voters of such town, village, or city desire the change, and that there is no other town, village, or city in the state of the name prayed for, may order the change prayed for in such petition.

Change of name; effect; costs; how taxed:
All proceedings under sections 25-21,270 to 25-21,272 shall be at the cost of the petitioner or petitioners, for which fee-bill or execution may issue as in civil cases.  Any change of names under the provisions of said sections, shall not in any manner affect or alter any right of action, legal process or property.  [Neb. Rev. Stats. Chapter 25 Courts; Civil Procedure, Sec.25-21,273.]

Other Name Change References

Persons declared minors; marriage, effect:
All persons under nineteen years of age are declared to be minors, but in case any person marries under the age of nineteen years, his or her minority ends.  [Neb. Rev. Stats. Chapter 43, Sec.43-2101.]

Cross Reference:

Juvenile committed under Nebraska Juvenile Code, marriage under age of nineteen years does not make juvenile age of majority, see section 43-289.


Inside Nebraska Name Change Law