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Circuit Court Family Division Rules Table of Contents




9.1  Scope:  Pursuant to RSA 490-D:2(X), a petition to change name may be filed in  matters related to cases within the jurisdiction of the family division.  All other name change actions must be filed in the probate court.

9.2  Separate Petition Required:  To obtain a name change, a separate petition must be filed unless:

            (a)  An individual seeks to restore a former name prior to the issuance of a final decree of divorce under RSA 458; or

            (b)  An individual seeks to change a childís name as part of an adoption proceeding.

9.3  Jurisdiction:  Petitions for name change may be filed if they relate to an open or closed case within the jurisdiction of the family division, even if not originally filed or heard in a family division location.

9.4  Proper Filing:  A properly filed name change request includes:

∑    A Petition for Change of Name Relating to family division jurisdiction;

∑    A Name Change Affirmation;

∑    A Personal Data Sheet;

∑    Certified copy of birth certificate;

∑    A Criminal Record Release Authorization (for name change of anyone 17 years of age or older);

∑    A valid photograph identification (for name change of an adult);

∑    The filing fee; and

∑    If the petition relates to a minor, a consent if the parent/guardian is in agreement with the change.

9.5  Criminal Background Check:  Results of criminal record checks are confidential and shall not be disclosed to anyone other than a party to the case, without prior Court approval.

9.6  Notice:  Absent good cause shown, the petitioner shall provide notice to all parties involved in the case.  In open cases, notice may be provided by regular US mail.  In closed cases, notice shall be by certified mail, return receipt requested.

9.7  Minor Child Name Change:  If the name change request pertains to a minor child, notice is not required if the non-petitioning parent/guardian has consented in writing under oath, or if that parentís rights have been terminated. 

9.8  Hearing Not Required:  The Court, in its discretion, may act upon the petition without a hearing, under circumstances where no objections have been filed and where the criminal record check results report no finding.

9.9  Presence at Hearing of Older Child:  If the request pertains to a minor child who is fourteen (14) years or older, a hearing must be held and that child must attend the hearing.

9.10  Certificate of Change of Name:  If the Court grants the petition to change name, a Certificate of Change of Name will be issued to the petitioner for filing with appropriate agencies.


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Circuit Court Family Division Rules Table of Contents