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Name Change Child - One Parent Applies

In order to change your child’s name, the judge must find that changing your child's name is in the best interest of your child.

If you are involved in a family law case like parentage, child support, or child custody, and there hasn't been a final judgment yet, you can ask that the name be changed as part of the family law case and you may not need to file a civil name change case. If you are not sure what type of case you should file, you should obtain legal advice from an attorney.

Forms Needed to Change Your Child's Name

The following forms will be needed to change your child’s name if only one parent is filing the case:
 
Petition for Change of Name (NC-100)
Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (NC-110)
You need one Attachment for each child whose name you want to change.
Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (NC-120)
Civil Case Cover Sheet (CM-010)
Decree Changing Name (NC-130)
2 self-addressed envelopes with postage
Request to Waive Court Fees (FW-001) (optional)
Order on Court Fee Waiver (FW-003) (optional)
Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause (NC-121)
 

Sample Forms

Sample forms are provided to review what the forms may look like when completed.

Where To Get Forms

Internet: For free, you can log onto www.courts.ca.gov and click on “Forms & Rules” and then “Browse All Forms.” You can locate the forms needed by clicking on the Name Changes group of forms and then by form number.
 
Court Clerk’s Office: For $5, you may obtain a packet of blank forms from:
 
  • San Luis Obispo Courthouse Annex: 1035 Palm St., Room 385
  • Grover Beach Courthouse: 214 South 16th St.
  • Paso Robles Courthouse: 901 Park St. Room 105

Costs Involved 

Court Filing Fee: The Court will charge a fee to file this case, unless you apply and qualify for a fee waiver.
Newspaper Fee: In addition to the Court filing fee, you will need to pay the newspaper a fee to publish your Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (NC-120). Publishing the name change request in a local newspaper is required and the Court cannot waive the newspaper fee.

Overview of the Process

Complete Forms: Complete all the forms listed above, except for the Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause (NC-121).
 
Make Copies: Make 2 copies of all the original completed documents. You should have 1 original and 2 copies.
 
File the Originals, Copies and 2 Self-Addressed Envelopes with the Court: You must file the original and copies with the Court. In addition, give the Court Clerk two self-addressed stamped envelopes. The Clerk will use these envelopes to mail you your hearing date and copies of your court order. You may file at any one of our three courthouses in San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach or Paso Robles.
 
Deliver Documents to Other Parent & Complete Proof of Service: The Court Clerk will mail you a filed copy of your Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (NC-120). When you receive this document in the mail, you will need someone who is 18 years or older to personally deliver to the other parent a filed copy of the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (NC-120) letting him/her know the date and time of the court hearing. This document must be personally delivered to the other parent at least 30 days before the court date.
 
The person that delivers the document to the other parent must sign and date the Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause (NC-121).
 
If the other parent lives outside of California, someone who is 18 years or older may mail the other parent a filed copy of the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name by certified mail, return receipt requested. The person that mails the document to the other parent must sign and date the Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause (NC-121).
 
Publish in the Newspaper: The Court Clerk will mail you a filed copy of your Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (NC-120). When you receive this document in the mail you must take it to the newspaper listed on your Order to Show Cause for Change of Name. You must instruct the newspaper to publish the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name in the newspaper once a week for 4 weeks in a row. The newspaper will charge a fee to publish in the newspaper and the Court cannot waive this newspaper fee. The following are some of the newspapers that may publish.
 
  • New Times (805) 546-8208 ext. 24
  • The Tribune (805) 544-7355
  • The Times Press-Recorder (805) 739-2157
Go to your Hearing: You must go to court on the day of your scheduled hearing. You should bring to court the original Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause (NC-121) and proof of publication from the newspaper if you did not previously file it with the Court.
 
Get your Court Order to Change Name: At the hearing, the judge may either grant or deny your request to change your child’s name. If the judge grants the request to change name then the court clerk may give you a copy of the order on the day of the hearing or you will receive a copy of the order in the mail within a few days.
 
Get a Certified Copy of the Order: After one week from the date of your hearing, you may come to the Court Clerk’s Office where your case was heard and request a certified copy of the Decree Changing Name (NC-130). You will need to purchase a certified copy of your court order to change your child’s birth certificate, social security card, passport, and other legal documents.