Nebraska Legal Name Change
Below are the relevant state statutes, as well as links to the form petitions and instructions for obtaining a legal name change for yourself or a minor.
If, after reviewing the information below, you find the need for further legal assistance, you should visit this online legal service.
If you are seeking a marriage name change or a divorce name change, your marriage license or divorce decree can serve as your legal name change document. Thus you can proceed to Name Change Notification, the final step of the name change process. Otherwise, read the information below and follow the links to learn about obtaining a legal name change.
Nebraska State Code:
Sec. 61-101. 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. Laws 1871, p. 62; R.S.1913, § 5315; C.S.1922, § 4608; C.S.1929, § 61-101.
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).
Sec. 61-102. 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. Source: Laws 1871, p. 62; R.S.1913, § 5316; C.S. 1922, § 4609; C.S.1929, § 61-102; R.S.1943, § 61-102; Laws 1963, c. 367, § 1, p. 1184; Laws 1994, LB 892, § 1; Laws 1995, LB 161, § 1.
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