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Changing A Child’s Name

Surnames are very significant and part of an individual’s identity. It is often very hard for children and young people who do not have the same name as their carers (e.g. because one of them is a step-parent) and/or other children in the same household (e.g. step or half-siblings). It can also be difficult for carers too. For example, sometimes families are stopped by immigration when travelling because the family does not all have the same surname. Changing a child’s surname can resolve these difficulties.

How can I change a child’s surname?

There are two ways of doing this:

  • Change of Name Deed
  • Change of Name Order.

 

Change of Name Deed

A person with parental responsibility for a child can change the child’s surname by executing a deed stating that henceforth the child will be known by their new surname. The executed deed will be accepted by authorities such as the passport agency as evidence of the change of name sufficient for formal documents to be reissued in the new surname. However, a change of name deed requires the agreement of everybody with parental responsibility for the child, so is not suitable for a situation where there is disagreement. We can advise you whether a change of name deed will work for you and, if it is, we will draft the application.

 

Change of Name Order

An application can be made to the family court for a change of name order. This is one form of application for a specific issue order. The application will have to be sent to everybody with parental responsibility for the child, who are entitled to make representations and oppose the making of the order. The court will determine the application by considering whether the proposed change of name is in the best interests of the child. It will take account of the views of each parent/person with parental responsibility and the child themselves if they are old enough to understand what the application is about. In practice, courts are cautious about changing children’s names particularly if the application is opposed. However, every case is considered on the basis of its own unique facts and we can advise you about how the law is likely to apply to your particular situation.

 

How can The Modern Family Law Company help?

Whether you want to change a child’s name or are opposing a child’s name being changed, we have the necessary expertise to advise as to how the law will apply in your case. We can draft a change of name deed or an application for a change of name. We can represent you in any court proceedings whether you are for or against the change.

 

How will we support you?

We know how stressful disputes about children are. We will support you throughout the process, give you sound advice and always take care not to inflame an already difficult situation. If you need any extra help e.g. counselling or therapy we will refer you to one of our trusted partners.

 

How can I find out more?

Please Get in Touch via our contact page and we'll be delighted to provide further information.

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