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Deed poll to change a child's name

(5 Posts)
DrizzleHair Fri 06-Oct-17 21:17:36

I've got conflicting advice on this, the two conflicting sides are a family lawyer, and the government's forms!

Two parents in agreement about the name change, simply adding in a middle name (mother's surname). Joint parental responsibility, live together, unmarried but committed, mortgage etc.

I've been on the Government website to download the forms hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=2723 and it states that "An Affidavit of Best Interest is required for all minor’s applications. There is no set format for this document however it is required that the person or persons with parental responsibility complete this and it is sworn before a Solicitor, Commissioner of Oaths or an Officer of the Senior Courts."

There is a template included in the pack (LOC023) along with a Statutory Declaration For A Deed Poll For A Minor (LOC024) that requires us to swear that the information provided is true in front of either a Solicitor, Commissioner of Oaths or an Officer of the Senior Courts

However a senior family lawyer we've been referred to says:

The simple answer to your query is that:-

1) A child’s name can only be changed where there is no Child Arrangements Order in force (previously known as contact/residence orders). If there is currently an order in place then we would need to seek the Court’s permission to effect any name change.

And

2) Provided there is no Child Arrangements Order in force, a child’s name can simply be changed through a change of name deed (sometimes called a Deed Poll) however it can only be done where all persons with Parental Responsibility consent to the change. The child’s mother will have Parental Responsibility automatically, simply by virtue of being the mother. A child’s father will have Parental Responsibility if: a) he is married to the child’s mother, b) he is listed on the child’s birth certificate or c) by an order of the Court. From your comments below, I would assume that (a) is not relevant so you will only have Parental Responsibility if a Court has previously made an order in those terms, or if you appear on the birth certificate.

There is no strict requirement to have a solicitor declaration drawn up. You can simply agree with your partner to change your daughter’s name and then effect a Change of Name Deed / Deed Poll. However, to be on the safe side, I would suggest that you both declare in writing that you agree to the change of name deed.

Some articles/internet research may say that you should file (or enrol) the change of name deed with the Queens Bench Division of the High Court however this is really a formality which isn’t strictly required and which very few people actually do.

DrizzleHair Fri 06-Oct-17 21:18:43

I don't want to be a dick and go back to the lawyer telling him I think he's wrong, but this seems to be the case from the gov forms.

Can anyone understand what's going on and what we actually need to do?

Ta v much

prh47bridge Fri 06-Oct-17 22:42:53

The difference is that the government site is giving you the process for a proper deed poll, which is expensive and unnecessary. Your solicitor is referring to the process for a change of name deed. Many people refer to this incorrectly as a deed poll. It is much cheaper and just as effective.

The government's advice is correct if you want to go to the expense of a proper deed poll. Your solicitor's advice is correct if you simply want to change your daughter's name. Take your solicitor's advice.

wineandworkout Sat 07-Oct-17 14:14:32

I changed my kids' surname from ex's to mine. I did the process your solicitor describes. As far as I could work out, the benefit of the other process is that a record is held somewhere official that the child could use if they lost the document and needed proof of name. I sort of got around this by getting them passports in their new names, so the passport office has them on record with my surname. Anyway, once they are 16(?) they can just do a new deed if they have lost the original.

DrizzleHair Sun 08-Oct-17 13:55:30

Thanks tons both, very useful explanations!

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