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:
When a parent is considering changing a child’s surname, they should consult with any other person who holds parental responsibility, regardless of whether a child arrangements order is in place or whether the other parent has any contact with the child. If there is any dispute about the proposed change in surname, the matter should be referred to the court for determination. ‘No disputed registration or change should be made unilaterally’ (Dawson v Wearmouth). If there is a child arrangements order in place, a freestanding application should be made under section 13 of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989). If there is no child arrangements order in place, the application would be for a specific issue order under ChA 1989, s 8 using form C100.
ChA 1989, s 33(7) provides (inter alia) that:
'While a care order is in force with respect to a child, no person may—(a) cause the child to be known by a new surname…
'While a care order is in force with respect to a child, no person may—
(a) cause the child to be known by a new surname…
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