Changing Your Childs Surname Following Divorce
I have a minor son from a previous marriage and I want to change his surname, what do I do?
If you are the child’s mother, you will automatically have parental responsibility for the child. If you are the child’s father and you were married to the mother at the time of the birth, then you will also have parental responsibility. Other ways of acquiring parental responsibility are by being listed on the child’s birth certificate, getting a parental responsibility agreement with the mother of the child or by getting a parental responsibility order from the Court.
Parental responsibility enables you to make important decisions about the care and welfare of your child including those relating to education, health care and religion.
It is not possible for you to change your child’s name without the consent of every person with parental responsibility or the permission of the court. This means that if the other person with parental responsibility does not consent to the change of name, you have to apply to the Court for permission to change your child’s name. The court makes all their decisions relating to children with the welfare of the child being their paramount consideration.
The process for changing a child’s surname if the other parent with parental responsibility consents:
If the other parent consents, the child’s name can be changed by way of a change of name deed poll for a minor. This form can be found online includes a notification form for the Gazette. These forms must then all be sent to the Queen’s Bench Division of the Royal Courts of Justice. The fee for this application is £36.
The process for changing a child’s surname if the other parent with parental responsibility does not consent:
If the other parent does not consent, then you will have to apply to the court for a specific issue order. This is an application made on a form which will then need to be sent to your nearest court that deals with children cases. The court fee for making this application to the court is £215. The Court will then list the matter for a Court hearing.
If changing your child’s surname is something that you would like to do, then we can assist with his by writing a letter to the other person with parental responsibility to ask them for their consent. Alternatively, we can assist by drafting the change of name deed poll for a minor or making any relevant Court applications on your behalf.