Our Family Law Solicitors can assist with all Child Law matters, including child / children change of name issues. When a relationship breaks down change of surname issues can arise, and our Family Solicitors can help you through this and make sure that your change of name needs are met, allowing you to move forward with your lives.
Slater and Gordon have the largest team of Family Lawyers in the UK and can provide immediate legal representation anywhere in England & Wales. We offer both flexible pricing and fixed fees for child name change and for all our family law services.
Child Law and Change of Name
When a family’s circumstances change, it is not uncommon for parents to want those changes to be recognised. When a parent remarries, we are sometimes asked if a child’s surname can be changed to recognise the new family composition; such as adding a stepparent’s surname to the existing one, or using it in place of the existing surname.
Whether a child’s name can be changed, and who must consent to any name change, depends on a number of factors. If a child’s name is changed without the consent of everybody with Parental Responsibility, a Court can, and often will, reverse the change. A Court might also make an Order for costs against the parent who tried to change the child’s surname without permission in the first place. It is therefore vital to seek expert legal advice before attempts are made to change a child’s name.
Where parents disagree about whether a child’s name should be changed, an application may be made to the Court. The type of application will depend on who is making it. The parent wishing the change a child's name can apply for a Specific Issue Order. The parent opposing the name change would apply for a Prohibited Steps Order.
Regardless of which application brings the question before the Court, the approach is the same. There is clear guidance in earlier reported decisions about when a Court will and will not consider that it is in a child’s interests for his or her name to be changed. It is sensible to discuss the guidance from these cases with a specialist Child Law Solicitor before embarking on a name change application.
Where parents agree to a change of name, it's always sensible to record this agreement in a formal document called a Change of Name Deed. Whilst it's no longer necessary to record a change of name centrally (which was the thinking behind the old Deed Poll process), government departments will still want proof of any name change made. This is especially important where identification (ID) documents such as passports are concerned. A Change of Name Deed can be shown to government agencies as proof of the name change.
For more detailed information read our legal advice guide to Change of Name which you can download and print.
Call our Family Law Solicitors for an initial consultation on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.
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