fbpx

Changing a Child’s Surname

Why can changing a child’s surname be so important?  When parents separate, whether it be dissolving a civil partnership or getting a divorce, it is not unusual for the resident parent to wish to change their children’s family name to either their own or their new partner’s name if they get remarried.

A name change makes applying for official documents, like passports, less complicated and it could be seen as unifying the new family members.

You can change a child’s name after registration of birth by deed poll or by a change of name deed / statutory declaration.  However, before you do so you must have permission from all parties with parental responsibility.  If you are the only person with parental responsibility, then ideally you should still seek permission from the other parent, because otherwise they could apply to the court to stop or reverse the name change.

Change of Name Deed 

If both parties reach an agreement regarding the changing of a child’s name, it can be formalised by deed poll or by preparing a Change of Name Deed / statutory.  This legal document acts as proof of the name change for official purposes.

What happens if I do not have consent from all parties?

If you do not have consent from all parties with parental responsibility, you will need to make an application to the court under s8 of the Children Act 1989 using  Form C100.

If both parties are unable to reach an agreement, the following options are available:

Specific Order Issue 

If both parties cannot reach an agreement regarding the name change for a child, the parent requesting the name change can apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order.  The family court will then examine and review the details of the case and decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

Prohibited Steps Order 

If the resident parent decides to change the child’s family name without permission from the non-residential parent who has parental responsibility, the non-resident parent can challenge this in court by applying for a Prohibitive Steps Order. The family court will examine and review the details of the case and decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

What will the court look at when deciding if a child’s name should be changed?

A child’s name is considered an integral part of their identity and therefore this type of application is not taken lightly by the court.

The court will base any decision on the welfare checklist. The court is generally reluctant to authorise a change of name unless it is in the child’s interests to do so.

The court will look at factors such as embarrassment to the child and parent of having different surnames, the child’s wishes and feelings, but most importantly the extent to which the child’s original surname is important to maintain links with the parent and other relations who the child does not live with.

Talk to Tollers 

Tollers’ dedicated and devoted child lawyers offer a swift and professional service regarding all child law matters.

For more information on changing a child’s surname, please contact our family law team on 01604 258558 or make an online enquiry here.

 

For more information...

Your personal data will be processed in accordance with our privacy policy which can be found here.

Our Changing a Child’s Surname Experts

Deborah Atkins
Director
Deborah joined Tollers as a Director in August 2019. She qualified as a Solicitor in 1995 and has specialised in Family matters ever since...
Katie Herrod
Partner
Katie qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has been a part of Tollers family department for over 20 years. Katie is a specialist family lawyer with extensive knowledge...
Natalie La Forte-Brown
Solicitor
Natalie qualified in to the Family Department in 2018 having commenced her Training Contract at the firm in 2016...
Sally Smith
Equity Partner/Family Mediator
Since qualifying Sally has specialised exclusively in the field of family law...
Sarah-Jane Webbe
Senior Associate
Family Law Solicitor Stevenage - Sarah-Jane qualified as a solicitor in 1999 at a high street practice in London. She specialised in family law from the outset...
Sheena Patel
Solicitor
Sheena joined the Family Department of Tollers as a solicitor in December 2019. Prior to joining the firm, she worked at a local family law firm...
Deborah Atkins
Director
Katie Herrod
Partner
Natalie La Forte-Brown
Solicitor
Sally Smith
Equity Partner/Family Mediator
Sarah-Jane Webbe
Senior Associate
Sheena Patel
Solicitor
Meet the Full Child Law and Child Dispute Matters Team

All things Tollers

We partner with...