How to Legally Change Your Name in Colorado

Title: How to Legally Change Your Name in Colorado: A Comprehensive Guide


Changing one’s name is a significant decision that can have a profound impact on an individual’s personal and professional life. If you reside in Colorado and are considering changing your name, it is essential to understand the legal process involved. This article will guide you through the steps required to legally change your name in Colorado, along with answers to seven frequently asked questions.

1. Why Change Your Name?

People choose to change their names for various reasons, including marriage, divorce, personal preference, or cultural identity. Whatever your motivation may be, it is crucial to ensure that the name change process is carried out legally to avoid any complications in the future.

2. Understand the Legal Requirements:

In Colorado, the legal requirements for changing your name are as follows:
a. You must be at least 18 years old.
b. You must be a resident of Colorado for at least 90 days before filing the name change petition.
c. You must not have any pending criminal charges or convictions.

3. Start the Process by Filing a Petition:

To initiate the name change process, you need to file a petition in the district court of the county where you reside. The petition should include your current name, desired new name, reason for the change, and a statement affirming your intentions are not for fraudulent purposes.

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4. Publish a Notice:

Once the petition is filed, you are required to publish a notice of your name change in a local newspaper for three consecutive weeks. This notice serves to inform the public about your intention to change your name and allows anyone with objections to come forward.

5. Attend the Hearing:

After the completion of the publication period, you must attend a hearing in court. At the hearing, the judge will review your petition and any potential objections. If the judge approves your request, a court order granting the name change will be issued.

6. Update Your Identification and Records:

After legally changing your name, it is crucial to update your identification and important records to reflect the new name. Some key areas to consider include your driver’s license, passport, social security card, bank accounts, and employment records. Notify relevant agencies, institutions, and employers to ensure a smooth transition.

7. Inform Others:

It is essential to inform family, friends, and other significant parties about your name change. Communicate the change to your employer, educational institutions, healthcare providers, and any relevant professional associations. Additionally, consider updating your name on social media platforms and email accounts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1. How long does the name change process usually take in Colorado?
The process typically takes around 2-3 months from filing the petition to receiving the court order.

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Q2. Can I change my child’s name in Colorado?
Yes, you can change your child’s name by following a similar legal process. However, additional documentation, such as parental consent and court approval, may be required.

Q3. Can I change my name if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from changing your name, but it may be a factor considered by the judge during the hearing.

Q4. What if someone objects to my name change?
If someone objects to your name change during the publication period or hearing, the judge will evaluate the objection based on its merit. If the objection is found valid, your name change request may be denied.

Q5. Can I change my name to anything I want?
While Colorado law allows for considerable freedom in choosing a new name, the judge may deny a name change request if it is deemed fraudulent, offensive, or intended to deceive others.

Q6. How much does it cost to change your name in Colorado?
The fees for filing a name change petition in Colorado vary by county. Generally, expect to pay between $100 and $200, including publication costs.

Q7. Can I revert to my old name after changing it legally?
Generally, once a name change is legally completed, reverting to the previous name requires initiating a separate legal process.

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Changing your name is an important personal choice, and by following the legal procedures outlined above, you can ensure a smooth transition. Remember to consider the legal requirements, file a petition, publish a notice, attend a hearing, and update your identification and records accordingly. By embracing the name change process in Colorado, you can embark on a new chapter of your life with confidence and legal certainty.