Parental Rights and Responsibilities
Helping you enforce your parental rights and obtaining parental responsibility.
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If you wish to change your child’s name, you will need the consent of anyone with parental responsibility. If such consent is not given, an application to the court for a Specific Issue Order will be necessary.
There are several reasons why you might want to change your child’s name. These include situations where following a divorce or dissolution, the other parent is no longer permitted to be involved in the child’s life due to abuse or emotional harm/neglect. Similarly, there may be circumstances where you would like all of your family unit to have the same surname, or where you believe it is safer for your child to have a different surname to their biological father. Sometimes a child him/herself may wish to change their surname and indeed it might be in their best interests for this to be done. In such a situation, permission will need to be obtained either from the biological parents (if they have parental responsibility) or from the court if consent from those with parental responsibility is not forthcoming.
If those with parental responsibility for a child can agree upon a change of surname together this can be implemented by completing a change of name deed or deed poll. This will need to be sent to the court for sealing and a notice will be published in the Gazette.
Birth mothers automatically have parental responsibility. Fathers who were married to the mother at the time of the birth or unmarried fathers who are named on the birth certificate also have parental responsibility.
Once a child is aged 16, they will also need to agree to the change. From the age of 18, they are entitled to change their own name as they wish.
If the other parent or any person with parental responsibility does not consent to the change of name, then you can ask the court to grant a specific issue order changing the name.
If you are concerned that your child’s other parent will try and change their name without your consent, you can apply for a prohibited steps order preventing this from happening.
You should attempt to resolve the issue informally first, which could include going to mediation.
The court will consider the child’s wishes, any potential embarrassment to the child and whether their existing surname is important in sustaining a connection with a parent and other family members. Any decision will be made in what the court considers to be the best interests of the child.
Our family law team are experts in dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility and can advise you of your options as well as your rights. For expert advice regarding changing your child’s name, contact our team of family solicitors.
We are experienced in working with clients throughout England and Wales, often remotely, meaning that you can expect the same expert legal advice and excellent client care wherever you are located.
If you would like to speak to one of our family law solicitors, please get in touch with our legal expert Keshini Rajendra.01908 662 277
Our family law services are designed to help people in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas to easily handle their legal issues.
Our highly experienced family solicitors advise on all matters, including divorce, marriage and civil partnerships, cohabitation agreements, pre-nuptial agreements, children’s issues such as parental responsibility and child contact arrangements, and financial provision after a relationship breakdown. We also advise on other related aspects of family law, such as adoption, surrogacy and domestic violence injunctions.
We understand that dealing with family law matters can be daunting and emotionally challenging for our clients, and we work hard to find the best solution for their circumstances.
Heald Solicitors is a law firm dedicated to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome when it comes to family law issues. Our solicitors will work hard on your behalf, offering comprehensive legal advice at every step to ensure you receive the support you need during this difficult period.
Our family lawyers are in Milton Keynes, but our leading reputation means that we also deal extensively with clients from the surrounding areas and beyond, communicating remotely where necessary.
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