There are a few instances where a parent will need to change a child’s name, whether post-divorce, for religious reasons or just a change of heart at a young age, it’s essential to understand the requirements and parental responsibility regarding a child’s deed poll.
With this in mind, we’ve put together the most common questions about changing a child’s name, and what is required of individuals with parental responsibility. For more information on the subject, or if you have further questions about what we’ve covered below, contact our expert paralegals today.
In the UK, individuals have the legal right to change their name by Deed Poll when they are 16 years old. They are free to do this without seeking prior approval from anyone, unless they have a court order superseding this.
In a situation where the other parent does not agree to changing the child’s name, you will need to get approval from the court. The court will determine if it’s in the best interest of the child to proceed with the name change.
In circumstances where a parent is absent, the court may revoke parental responsibilities in order to change a child’s name. The missing parent would need to have not been present for a significant period of time in the child’s life. Furthermore, the absent parent’s location must be unknown and they must not have provided any recent financial support to the child. It is also necessary for the present parent to have made multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact the absent parent.
You have no legal obligation to get consent from a parent without parent responsibilities, although this is advisable. The court can reverse a change of surname if it’s considered not in the best interests of the child.
As stated above, the parent with parental responsibility is not required but this is advisable as the court can reverse the change.
It’s not possible to change your educational certificates after they have already been issued. However, if you need to provide evidence, for example at a job interview, you can simply show your Deed Poll which links you to your previous name.
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