Q&As

A father has parental responsibility for a child who is age 16 (nearly 17), as he is named on the birth certificate. The father has no involvement with the child. The child wishes to change their surname, but the father will not consent. Can the change of name deed be executed by the mother alone, with the child's consent endorsed on the deed?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 05/02/2018

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A father has parental responsibility for a child who is age 16 (nearly 17), as he is named on the birth certificate. The father has no involvement with the child. The child wishes to change their surname, but the father will not consent. Can the change of name deed be executed by the mother alone, with the child's consent endorsed on the deed?

At birth, a child must be registered, and the surname that is registered at that time is to be the one which it is intended the child should be known by. If a parent wishes to change the child’s surname following registration, they should consult with any other person who holds parental responsibility for the child. This is the case regardless of whether there is a child arrangements order in place, and regardless of whether that other person sees the child (Re PC (Change of Surname)). Any dispute must be referred to the court for determination. No disputed change of surname should be made unilaterally (Dawson v Wearmouth).

A change of name is an important issue not to be taken lightly. In deciding whether to grant leave the court must be guided by the welfare principle (section 1(1) of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989)). ChA 1989, s 1(5) also applies and the court must not make an order unless to do so is

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