Can I change my child’s surname?

To change a child’s surname consent is required by all those with PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY.

What is Parental Responsibility?

Parental Responsibility is defined under Section 3(1) Children Act 1989 as ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child’

Do I automatically have Parental Responsibility?

Parental Responsibility is conferred automatically on the Mother of a child.

If the Father was married to the Mother at the time of the child’s birth he will automatically have Parental Responsibility.

If the Father is not married to the Mother but is named on the child’s birth certificate then he will have attained Parental Responsibility.

How can I get Parental Responsibility?

You can enter into a ‘PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AGREEMENT’ with the other parties who have gained Parental Responsibility and lodge this with the Court. 

If the Mother of your child refuses to enter into a ‘Parental Responsibility Agreement’ you can make an application to the Family Court. The Court will consider the application and if an order for Parental Responsibility is granted it will last until discharged by the Court.

Can I change my Child’s Surname even if the Father of the child has Parental Responsibility?

If the Father of the child does have Parental Responsibility and you want to change the child’s surname you must either obtain the consent of the Father or make an application to the court for a SPECIFIC ISSUES ORDER.

A Specific Issues Order enables the court to give directions and determine the specific issue which have arisen, or may airse.

I am worried the Mother of my child will change his/her surname or take them abroad – I do not have Parental Responsibility

If you are worried that the Mother of your child will change your child’s surname you can make an application to the court to prevent this from happening. This is known as a PROHIBITED STEPS ORDER.

A prohibited steps application prevents a specific action taking place without the consent of the Court.

How we can help you?

A S Solicitors Specialises in all aspects of Family Law.

If are concerned about the welfare of your child and want to know your legal rights please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 8318 4345.