There are rules to changing the name of a child and some deed poll companies ignore them.

Posted by legaldeedpolls

Changing the name of a child is not as quick and simple as some deed poll companies like to make out.

A mother can have a deed poll prepared without the fathers permission if the father does not have parental responsibility and visa versa.

If both parents have parental responsibility, both parents must provide consent in writing to accompany the deed poll, with no exceptions.

If there is not consent for a name change from a father with parental responsibility then an application must be made under the Children Act 1989 for a specific issue order and the court will only make the order in exceptional circumstances and ONLY if it is in the best interests of the child.

Most fathers will automatically acquire parental responsibility if they were married to the child’s mother or were registered on the birth certificate.

The Government website has a handy guide to parental responsibility which you can read here.

An example of when a court would order a name change is when the father has ceased to have any contact with the child for a length of time and the mother has remarried and the child considers the husband to be their father. The court would more than likely see this as a good reason for the child to have their name changed, especially if the child has half brothers or sisters. This is only an example and each case would be dealt with on it’s merits.

You should seek legal advice from a qualified family law professional before issuing an application to change a chills name to see whether the reasons for doing so are likely to be accepted by the court.

If you would like more advice on how to change your child’s name by deed poll and parental responsibility please call us on 0800 014 8434

Family Law Week also have a very good article on changing a child’s name through the court here