New Mexico Name Change Law

Name Change – General – New Mexico

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

Name Change Action Allowed: In New Mexico, a person over fourteen (14) years of age may change their name by filing an action in the District Court with appropriate forms.

Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must find that no sufficient cause is shown to the contrary and that the requested change is consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

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? No, but they are entitled to notice when a cild under fourteen years is the subject of a petition for change of name.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change a name? Yes.  The court must find that no sufficient cause is shown to the contrary and that the requested 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.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? Yes.  The Petitioner must publish notice prior to filing the Petition.  The notice must state the nature of the application, the time and place, when and where it will be made to the notice to be published at least once each week for two consecutive weeks, in some newspaper printed in said county, and if there be no newspaper published in the county where said applicant resides, then said notice shall be published in a newspaper printed in a county nearest to the residence of said person, and having a circulation in the county where such person resides..

The notice must be published at least once each week for two consecutive weeks, in some newspaper printed in the county in which the petitioner resides, and if there be no newspaper published in the county where said applicant resides, then said notice shall be published in a newspaper printed in a county nearest to the residence of said person, and having a circulation in the county where such person resides.

Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The General Public.

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 consistent with the public interest.

Procedures: The petition is filed in the District Court in which the petitioner resides.  Prior to the filing of the application, the notice to be published at least once each week for two consecutive weeks, in some newspaper printed in the county, and if there no newspaper is published in the county where the Petitioner resides, then the notice must 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.

Upon the filing of proof of publication of the required notice, if no sufficient cause is shown to the contrary, the court shall order the requested change of name.

Additional Information and Instructions

Statutes:

Change of name; petition and order:
Any resident of this state over the age of fourteen years may, upon petition to the district court of the district in which the petitioner resides and upon filing the notice required with proof of publication, if no sufficient cause is shown to the contrary, have his name changed or established by order of the court. The parent or guardian of any resident of this state under the age of fourteen years may, upon petition to the district court of the district in which the petitioner resides and upon filing the notice required with proof of publication, if no sufficient cause is shown to the contrary, have the name of his child or ward changed or established by order of the court. When residents under the age of fourteen years petition the district court for a name change, the required notice shall include notice to both legal parents. The order shall be entered at length upon the record of the court, and a copy of the order, duly certified, shall be filed in the office of the county clerk of the county in which the person resides. The county clerk shall record the same in a record book to be kept by him for that purpose.  [N.M.Stat.Ann., Chap.40 Domestic Affairs, Article 8  Change of Name, Section 40-8-1.]

Notice of petition; publication:

A.  Before making application to the court for changing or establishing a name as provided in Section 40-8-1 NMSA 1978, the applicant shall cause a notice thereof, stating the nature of the application, the time and place, when and where the application will be made, to be published in the county where the application is to be made and where the applicant resides; the notice to be published at least once each week for two consecutive weeks in some newspaper printed in the county. If there is no newspaper published in the county where the applicant resides, then the notice shall be published in a newspaper printed in the county nearest to the residence of the person and having a circulation in the county where the person resides.

B.  If the court finds that publication of an applicant’s name change will jeopardize the applicant’s personal safety, the court shall not require publication. The court shall order all records regarding the application to be sealed. The records shall only be opened by court order based upon a showing of good cause or at the applicant’s request. [N.M.Stat.Ann., Chap.40 Domestic Affairs, Article 8  Change of Name, Section 40-8-2.]

Hearing at regular term in county of petitioner’s residence:
That the hearing and determination of all proceedings instituted under the provisions of this chapter [40-8-1 through 40-8-3 NMSA 1978], and the final order of the court therein, shall be had and made at some regular term of the district court sitting within and for the county wherein said petitioner resides. [N.M.Stat.Ann., Chap.40 Domestic Affairs, Article 8  Change of Name, Section 40-8-3.]


Inside New Mexico Name Change Law