New Mexico’s Liberal Approach To Name Change Petitions
Under New Mexico law, a person is entitled to assume any name that he wishes unless the court determines that the name change is sought for an improper purpose. Many New Mexico residents have inquired as to what would constitute an improper motive.
It should be noted that the vast majority of name change applications are routinely approved by New Mexico courts. Examples of situations where a name change petition may be rejected include:
- Where the name change is sought to perpetrate a fraud on the public; or
- Requests to use names that are offensive to good taste or common decency; or
- If a name change is sought for a child who is less than 14 years of age (in such instances, the minor name change petition form needs to be filed by both parents, or, in the alternative, notice provided to the other parent).
In the vast majority of cases, name change applications are brought because the petition simply prefers to use a different first, middle or last name. Personal preference is a perfectly acceptable, lawful reason to change your name. The process is straightforward, and can generally be accomplished by downloading a name change kit and filing it with the court.