Name Change – General – Utah
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in the State of Utah, but does include basic and other provisions.
Name Change Action Allowed: In Utah an adult may change their name by filing an action in the District Court, in the county in which they reside, with appropriate forms.
Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.
Who is a minor? A person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered a minor.
Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes. The court must find that there is proper cause for the requested name change and it 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 Court has discretion as to the type and form of notice of the Petition that can be required of the Petitioner before the hearing on the requested change of name. The parents, and legal guardian, if any, are likely candidates for court ordered notice. The Court may elect for notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the jurisdiction or notice by service of process.
Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must find proper cause for the change and also find it consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.
Is Publication of a Notice Required? The Court has the discretion to determine what, if any, notice of the Petition for Name Change must be given.
Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The Court will decide and notice may be required to the general public by way of publication or service on specific individuals.
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 there is proper cause for the requested change of name and whether the change of name is consistent with the public interest.
Procedures: The change of name process for an adult in the State of Utah begins with the filing of a Petition in the district court of the county where the Petitioner resides. The Petition informs the court:
(1) The cause for which the change of name is sought;
(2) The name proposed; and,
(3) That Petitioner has been a bona fide resident of the county for the year immediately prior to the filing of the petition.
The Court will then determine what if any notice of the Petition must be given and the method for giving the notice. Generally this will be publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the County in which the Petitioner resides, but it may entail personal service on named individuals.
Upon the filing of proof of satisfaction of the required notice, the Court will proceed to a hearing. If the Court is satisfied as to the truth of the allegations of the Petition and that proper cause exists for the requested name change, the Petition will be granted and an Order of Name Change issued.
Additional Information and Instructions:
By petition to district court — Contents: Any natural person, desiring to change his name, may file a petition therefor in the district court of the county where he resides, setting forth:
(1) The cause for which the change of name is sought.
(2) The name proposed.
(3) That he has been a bona fide resident of the county for the year immediately prior to the filing of the petition. [Utah Code, Title 42 Names, Chapter 01 Change of Name, Section 42-1-1.]
Notice of hearing — Order of change: The court shall order what, if any, notice shall be given of the hearing, and after the giving of such notice, if any, may order the change of name as requested, upon proof in open court of the allegations of the petition and that there exists proper cause for granting the same. [Utah Code, Title 42 Names, Chapter 01 Change of Name, Section 42-1-2.]
Effect of proceedings: Such proceedings shall in no manner affect any legal action or proceeding then pending, or any right, title or interest whatsoever. [Utah Code, Title 42 Names, Chapter 01 Change of Name, Section 42-1-3.]
Other Name Change References:
Period of minority:
The period of minority extends in males and females to the age of eighteen years; but all minors obtain their majority by marriage. It is further provided that courts in divorce actions may order support to age 21. [Utah Code, Title 15 Contracts and Obligations in General, Chapter 02 Legal Capacity of Children, §15-2-1.]