Legal Disclaimer: The following is basic legal information, provided as a public service by Wyoming’s lawyers. The information provided is not a substitute for speaking to an attorney. Only an attorney can give you legal advice regarding your specific situation. Click here for help finding a lawyer.
You can ask to change the child's name as part of an adoption or paternity case. If you are involved in an adoption or paternity case, the Court may be able to change the child’s name as part of that case.
If you are not involved in an adoption or paternity case, you will likely need to follow the procedures as described in the instruction packet below:
Minor Name Change forms and instructions are available here.
Your child must have lived in Wyoming for at least six (6) months before you can request a name change (unless it is during an adoption or paternity case). This means that if your child is less than six (6) months old, you will not be able to ask for a name change.
Note: Changing a child’s last name to that of a current spouse does not mean the current spouse is the child’s legal parent. The only way to do this is to do an adoption.
Important! The Court will make a decision based on what is best for the child. The Judge may consider additional factors such as the child’s age, whether the other parent consents, and the relationship with the other parent.
If you are applying for a name change because your safety is in danger, it is highly recommended that you talk to a lawyer or a domestic violence counselor. Click here for more information about domestic violence. Click here for help finding a lawyer.
According to Wyoming law, if you or your child are victim of domestic violence and your safety is in danger you can request to have your residence information in your name change file kept confidential and you will not have to publish a notice in a newspaper. To keep your information confidential, you will have to file a separate motion with your petition, and you may need to prove to the court why you are a victim of domestic violence and your safety is in danger.
It is also possible, if you can show good cause to the Court, to have the requirement to give public notice of a petition removed.
1. Get new identification cards. After you change your child's name, it is important that you get new identification documents and notify some agencies and organizations about your child's new name. Each organization will have its own process for updating records. The first thing you may want to do is get a Social Security card and driver's license or I.D. with your child's name so you can show them to the organizations along with the court order granting your name change.
Social Security Administration (Changing a name)
Wyoming Department of Transportation (driver's license and I.D. card)
Wyoming Secretary of State (voter registration)
U.S. State Department (passports)
Doctor, dentist, pharmacist
Banks and other financial institutions
Utility companies (telephone, cable, gas, electric, etc.)
State and federal tax authorities
Social service or benefit programs