How to Change Your Child’s Last Name

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Law

A change in circumstances may often cause one parent to change the surname of their child. Quite often the following reasons are the cause of a parent wanting to change the last name of their child:

  • Parents may have separated following the child’s birth and one parent may not have any contact with the child.
  • Parents may have remarried after the birth of their child and might want to change the child’s name to match their married name which may prompt a change in the surname of a child.
  • A parent may feel their child has the same name as an abusive former partner which may affect their care of the child and therefore the parent may wish to change the child’s surname.

Whatever the reasons the article will consider how to go about changing the last name of a child.

Can I Change the Surname of my Child?

A child’s surname can be changed by using assistance from Kabir Family Law. A change of name can be carried out by Deed Poll which officially records the change in the surname. In order to carry out this change of name permission will be required from both parents who have parental responsibility. Mothers automatically acquire parental responsibility on the birth of the child whereas as fathers can obtain parental responsibility if they are named on the birth certificate, have a court order for parental responsibility or they married the mother of the child.

Until What Age of My Child Can I Change Their Surname?

When considering changing your child’s last name it is important to note that this can only be done until they reach the age of 16. If a child is over the age of 16 then a parent can no longer request for a child’s name to be changed.

Communicate With the Second Parent Prior to a Change of Name

It is extremely important for the parent who wants to change the surname of their child to communicate with the other partner or those with parental responsibility over the child. explaining the reason for changing the surname of a child to your former partner may be quick and cost effective, because if written consent is obtained then a parent can change the name without the need to go to the family court.

What Happens if One of the Parents is Not Agreeable to a Change of Surname For the Child

If a name change for a child is not agreed the matter can proceed to a family court for the judge to decide. Parents often utilise services of family lawyers in York in this situation. The courts will only consider the change of name if one parent is not giving permission or if one of the parents is absent from the child’s life and cannot be traced. As with all family law matters, the courts will only agree to a change of surname when the court decides it is in the child’s best interests. The court will take into account the contact and the relationship between the parent refusing the change of name and the child in question. The courts can either decide to change the child’s name if in the best interest or alternatively may refuse this where there is no sufficient evidence to warrant a change of name.

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