A child’s surname can be changed, but everyone with parental responsibility must give their consent first. If this leads to a dispute, it may be necessary to make an application to the court.
If you would like to speak to a lawyer about your child, including matters relating to their welfare and upbringing, please do not hesitate to call us on 01938 552545 / 01686 625134 or complete a free online enquiry and we will be happy to help you.
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For more information about changing a child’s surname, please download our free guide.
Why change a child’s surname?
There are many reasons why a parent might want to change their child’s surname. Often it is to reflect a change in the family unit. Other times there are safeguarding concerns. For instance, it might put a child at risk to carry the name of an estranged or abusive parent.
Can a child’s surname be changed?
Whatever the motivation, the fact remains that it is possible to change a child’s surname, but there are various rules which must be followed.
At Harrisons Solicitors, our family lawyers can advise whether or not you are able to change your child’s surname, and if so, what steps must be taken.
Every case is different, but broadly speaking, you can only change a child’s surname if all those with parental responsibility agree. If permission is granted, you simply have to start using the new surname. You do not have to fill out any official paperwork, although it is a good idea to draw up a
Change of Name Deed.
A Change of Name Deed confirms that all those with parental responsibility agree to your child’s surname being changed. You can then produce this as evidence, as and when required. This might be needed, for example, if your child gets a passport.
To find out more who can change a child’s surname, and the process involved, please download our guide to Changing a Child’s Surname.
Disputing a child name change
Therefore in certain circumstances, the process of changing a child’s surname is relatively straightforward. Nevertheless, this is not true of every case. Often parents will disagree on the issue, and if both are unwilling to relent, the matter may end up in court.
The action you need to take will vary depending on whether you are trying to change your child’s surname (in which case, you will need to apply for a Specific Issue Order), or whether you are trying to prevent your child’s surname being changed (in which case, you will need to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order).
Either way, the court will decide what is in the best interests of your child.
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Meet our specialists
Mari Wyn Jones
Mari is a Trainee Solicitor working within the family team. She is currently studying her Graduate Diploma in Law with Master of Laws and is intending to start studying the Legal Practice Course in late 2023.