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Minor Child Name Change (Under 18 years old)

Overview of Name Changes for Minor Children

A parent or guardian of a minor child (under 18 years old) may file a written petition (request) with a North Dakota state district court to legally change their minor child’s name.

A North Dakota state district court may legally change a minor child’s name if:

  • The parent or guardian filing the petition and the minor child are residents of the North Dakota county for at least the past 6 months before filing the request;
  • The minor child is either a United States citizen, or a United States permanent resident alien; and
  • The request isn’t made to defraud or mislead, is made in good faith, won’t cause injury to an individual, and won’t compromise public safety.

Before a district court judge may consider the petition to legally change a minor child’s name, the parent or guardian filing the petition must first publish notice of the petition in the newspaper.  The notice is published in the North Dakota county where the parent or guardian and the minor child live.  If the minor child has a non-custodial parent who lives in a different county, the notice must also be published a newspaper in the non-custodial parent’s county.  The judge may consider the petition 30 days after the date of publication of the notice.

The district court judge may waive (not require) publication of the notice in the newspaper when:

  • The requested name change is only for the minor child’s first or middle name; or
  • The individual shows in their request that they, or the minor child, are a victim of domestic violence.

In-person court hearings aren’t required.  However, the district court judge may decide an in-person court hearing is necessary.  If an in-person court hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time and location is sent from the Office of the Clerk of District Court.

Forms and Guides for Minor Child Name Changes

Forms aren’t available for every legal issue or circumstance.  If you don’t find a form that suits your circumstances on this website, the form isn’t available through the North Dakota Legal Self Help Center.

You may need to create legal documents yourself.  The General-Use forms in the District Court Civil Action Section of this website may be used as a starting point for creating your own legal documents.

Minor Child Name Change Forms:

If you prefer to handwrite the forms in black ink, you can print out all of the instructions and forms at once by clicking on the following link:

Minor Child Name Change Informational Guides:

  • Objection to Name Change of a Minor Child
    • Provides a basic, step-by-step guide for objecting to a requested name change of a minor child
    • Includes formatting examples of common objection documents
    • Doesn’t include on-line fillable forms

Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules

Following are legal research starting points related to name changes of minor children. You may need to conduct additional legal research into your legal issue.  See the Legal Research Section of this website.

Other Resources

Following are a selection of other resources related to name changes of minor children that may be of interest.

The information provided on and obtained from this site does not constitute the official record of the Court. This information is provided as a service to the general public. Any user of this information is hereby advised that it is being provided "as is". The information provided may be subject to errors or omissions. Visitors to this site agree that the Court is not liable for errors or omissions of any of the information provided.

If you have a question relating to a case that is already filed please contact the clerk of court for the county.