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How Transgender People can Legally Change Their Name in North Dakota

To come out as transgender often involves telling people about your preferred pronouns. (she/her, he/him or they/them). You may also want to adopt a new name.

To come out as trans is obviously a difficult and personal decision. It deserves respect, including being acknowledged by the name you choose.
The name-change process can be one more difficult challenge. Fortunately, that challenge is made easy with a lawyer’s help. We at Gjesdahl Law are lawyers for families. Helping people with personal and family issues is all we do. In this situation, we can make your chosen identity a reality.

What’s Involved in a North Dakota Name Change?

If you seek a name change on your own, the court will hold you to the same standards as practicing lawyers. But when you partner with a lawyer, you’ll be confident all of your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed.

Affidavit of Publications

Before a court can order your name change, North Dakota law requires notice of the change to be published in the newspaper. An affidavit of publication is required.

Affidavit of Publications are essentially written statements publicized by an authoritative source, confirming specific actions have taken place. In North Dakota, publications in the newspaper are sufficient.

The court can waive the publication required under certain circumstances, including:

  • asking to change only your first or middle name
  • being a victim of domestic violence

Gjesdahl Law can identify whether an affidavit of publication is required for you.

Required Name Change Forms

During the name change process, a handful of forms must be completed, including

  • Notice of Petition for Name Change
  • Petition for Name Change
  • Affidavit of Petitioner
  • Confidential Information Form
  • Order Granting Name Change (Proposed)

A Gjesdahl Law lawyer will complete these forms and bring you closer to your chosen name.

Once it has reviewed these documents, the court may also require a criminal history check. A felony conviction can obstruct the name-change process.

Partner with Gjesdahl Law

Gjesdahl Law’s attorneys are dedicated to serving and advocating for LGBTQ individuals and families. For more information or to get started on your name change, contact us today or visit our LGBTQ Family Law practice page.

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Leah J. duCharme

A native of Aberdeen, South Dakota, Leah is a Senior Shareholder at Gjesdahl Law, P.C. After graduating from Moorhead State University, she joined the firm in 2000 as a parale…
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