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Changing surnames...

(15 Posts)
lostdad Mon 18-Feb-13 12:12:10

You can change childrens' surnames via deedpoll without the permission of other PR holders only if you have attempted to contact them and ask if they have objections.

I've known parents to lie to deed poll about doing this however even if the NRP was/wanted to be heavily involved in their childrens' lives. And if this fact came to light in court a NRP would be able to use this to clearly demonstrate that the RP is doing his/her best to erase the other parent from the childrens' lives - and there is prominent case law where this has happened. If I were acting as McKenzie Friend for such a NRP I would advise them to highlight this has happened to the judge, advise them to make an order to change it back, etc.

BarbJohnson5 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:53:13

@ifyoucanmoveititsnotbroken - Ok. I remember when we were married we had to go through a lawyer to change their names and although we were together then, he had to consent as did i. Hmmmm.......I'm going through a divorce at the moment and the original name is on the deed. I haven't changed anything as i thought it might slow the process down and we'd have to start all over again. Not sure now........He doesn't have anything to do with my daughters(3 & 15) and has abandoned and abused his family, hence the reason for divorcing...

IfYouCanMoveItItsNotBroken Sun 17-Feb-13 21:47:19

Barb, you are incorrect, the deed poll people will let you do it but if the other parent has PR then legally you cannot unilaterally change their name. The deed poll service will allow you to do it but if it were ever challenged in court it would not be worth the paper it's written on.

BarbJohnson5 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:17:50

Not sure what people are saying here is true, because i've changed my children's surname, well dropped off his part of a double-barrelled name without going to court. I did it online through deed poll and it is most certainly legal. My ex hasn't been involved in their lives for over 3 years and on the occasion will speak to my oldest son and the youngest, but not the girls, so imo his pov is a non factor. Besides, my children hated his surname as they were being teased at school by other kids.

betterthanever Thu 14-Feb-13 21:45:46

If the DC are happy to change and the NRP does not want contact then it would change things in the courts eyes certainly but as I see it the ex would be contacted about it and that may then prompt them to start `saying' they want contact with the DC, previous emails or not. IME if anything ruffles them, they retaliate and it isn't pretty. I am not saying they will keep it up (they more than likely will not) but it's just a thought. Tread carefully. They are not reasonable people or they would not be having no contact. Although legal aid is stopping for all family issues except those with domestic violence so if they had to pay they may not bother or self rep?

Meglet Thu 14-Feb-13 20:28:29

I do have it in writing (e-mail) from him that said he wants nothing to do with the children until they are 18, then he will tell them what a bitch I am grin.

It would be nice to think common sense prevails in the courts and I can change their surnames. It would be too dangerous, and futile, to ask his permission. It's been on my 'to do' list for a couple of years now, I should just make an initial apt with a family solicitor.

iwantanafternoonnap Thu 14-Feb-13 18:22:51

Going through the same thing. My ex wants no contact at all and so I now think DS shouldn't have his surname. How horrible is it for DS to be called a name of a man that nevers wants to see him to me that must feel like being continually slapped in the face!

Meglet Thu 14-Feb-13 16:28:45

I also hate the fact my dc's have XP's name. He hasn't seen them in nearly 4 years and was an abusive shit. He forced me to give them his name too, I wanted to wait until we were married. I don't want them to have his 'identity', he threatened to kill them.

IMHO once a parent has been abusive and left their childrens lives they no longer have a say in what surname those children have. It's almost as if the abusive parent has more say than the parent actually raising the children.

I was going to speak to a solicitors about it eventually, I have a small amount of savings that may be worth using to try and change their names.

Letsmakecookies Thu 14-Feb-13 16:20:30

If the NRP has little to do with his children (from his own choice), I totally get why the RP would want to change the child's name to their own. It is about moving on and formalising a new family unit. I think if the NRP chooses to opt out then why should he have any right to object?

betterthanever Thu 14-Feb-13 16:20:09

Agree with lostdad. It isn't about what you think of it, it is about thier identity and how they feel about it - so it would be age dependent and I doubt a court would rule in your favour.

lostdad Thu 14-Feb-13 16:14:19

If he has PR you cannot change his name without his permission. You also cannot `cause' them to be known by another name - so asking the school to use another name even if you make it clear it isn't there `official' name is breaking the law.

I know some posters say their childrens' schools are doing this - but it is still against the law.

To the OP - what is your motivation other than you `hating' them having his surname? How would it be in their best interests for them to have another (your) surname? If you take this to court you will be asked these questions - and `hating' it won't be enough.

mama2moo Tue 12-Feb-13 14:51:21

If he agrees then you pay and have it done by deed poll. If, like my ex, he doesnt you have to take it to court and they are unlikely to allow it.

er1507 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:56:00

I would love to change 18mo dds surname to mine! I should never have out exp on birth certificate to be honest but hey ho. If he agreed to if would it just be a simple case of changing if by deed poll? No solicitors or anything?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 10-Feb-13 16:22:17

I'm no expert, but I should think it would depend on how old the dc are, and how much he sees them. If they're old enough to identify themselves by name (3 and a half or so, depending on child) changing it could affect them, if they're a bit older they should be allowed a say. Similarly, if he's a regular presence in their lives his opinion should hold as much weight as yours (and the judge is likely to go for the status quo, ie no change) but if he only drops by for an hour once or twice a year, that's a different thing.

mama2moo Sun 10-Feb-13 16:13:12

Ex is dead against it. What can I do? I hate that they have his name.

Has anyone taken it to court and won?

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