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Can I change my youngest' surname???

(40 Posts)
oopsadaisyme Sat 19-Apr-14 20:30:03

My youngest 4 years old, his dad left us 4 months ago, and changed his own surname (for professional reasons apparently), has no contact, nothing, just gone.

He's with someone else now, but still he has the other surname, different from me and my eldest, and now even different from his estranged 'dad'.

How can I change his surname to mine and his brothers???

GoAheadMakeMyDay Sat 19-Apr-14 20:57:47

What do you think your ex's response would be if you asked?

oopsadaisyme Sat 19-Apr-14 21:08:52

He disappeared on us, I've no way of contacting to even know - have no Idea of phone number or where he lives, just know he changed his surname -

For all I know we wont hear from again, which is why I really want my youngest to have mine and his brothers name -

GoAheadMakeMyDay Sat 19-Apr-14 21:16:17

Well I changed my daughters surname without any permission from anyone.

The NHS just accepted what I said was correct, the nursery, school nursery and in turn the school were the same. I have spoken to someone at the passport office who said if I can provide sufficient evidence that this is the name my DD goes by it will be accepted by them.

I didn't acquire any document to prove it had changed just filled in the forms at the various places. Your experience may not be the same as me depending on where you live though. The name change laws are different in Scotland and England I believe.

chocolatespiders Sat 19-Apr-14 21:18:14

I think if you have no way of contacting him then it should be fine!

oopsadaisyme Sat 19-Apr-14 21:41:08

How do I do it?? Can I just tell doctors, nursery etc his name different or do I have to do it legally??

nomoretether Sat 19-Apr-14 21:55:05

You have to do it legally. If you don't, you can be forced to change it back. I believe you can do it legally without his consent if you have shown that you have made every possible effort to contact the other person with PR. The court should be able to track him down though (HMRC can usually provide the information) and if he's changed his name I would guess it would be easier to change it to yours but I wouldn't be certain.

chocolatespiders Sat 19-Apr-14 21:56:42

I would go to registry office.
Does he have parental responsibility or on the birth cert?

GoAheadMakeMyDay Sat 19-Apr-14 22:02:46

I'm in Scotland and I just changed it at nursery, docs etc. I can prove through various ways that ExH is an absent parent and my solicitor said whilst my ex could petition for her name to be changed back it would be hugely unlikely he would get anywhere with it. Plus my ex is too damn lazy to bother his arse tbh.

oopsadaisyme Sat 19-Apr-14 22:07:49

He is on the birth cert, under his previous name -

I have made every effort to contact him re seeing his son or (god forbid) providing any maintenance - but far too busy on holidays with his new girlfriend - I will use the same method about changing my ds name, which will prove I've tried to contact???

If I just use another name for him with going through legal means, I don't believe he will force me to change it back (don't think his dad bothered anymore, sad but true), just want it to be legal for my ds (school, doctors etc), do they need proof of a name change, or can I just tell them that's what it is??

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 21-Apr-14 21:38:53

It always used to be the case that you could do a deed poll and if they didn't like it it was very easy to force you to change it back.

When he's changed his own name I would have thought it would be less easy for him to force you to change it back

nomoretether Mon 21-Apr-14 22:10:13

If you did it without the consent of the person with PR or, failing that, the consent of the court, the deed poll would not be legal, technically.

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 21-Apr-14 22:56:14

But nobody else is going to know that. And you can write your own deed poll

Cupid5tunt Mon 21-Apr-14 23:11:49

I've done it with my daughter with no permission. I wrote a statutory declaration myself and it has never been questioned by any authority.

nomoretether Tue 22-Apr-14 11:01:48

OP has said she wants it to be legal.

lostdad Tue 22-Apr-14 14:47:39

nomoretether is right. A father with PR needs to give consent.

If you have genuinely done your best to find him and are unable to, it's time to make an application to the court. You need a C100 - costs £215 I think.

You will then have to persuade the court that changing the name of the child is in his/her best interests and you will likely be asked about the father's absence and what you did to try to find him too.

Please note a deedpoll change means precisely nothing. Using a `known as name' is not permitted either (in England and Wales...Scotland is different).

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 22-Apr-14 18:44:01

lostdad if they mean precisely nothing why is my eldest's deed poll perfectly legal evidence of a name change,why is it accepted by every single school she has attended,bank she has opened, doctor she has seen and court she has had cause to use?

And why is it a perfectly legal way of obtaining evidence of identity accepted by the passport office and registra

NachoAddict Tue 22-Apr-14 18:50:19

I changed my dds name via deed poll and have never had any problems with having it accepted as her legal name. I just filled out the application stating we had no contact with her father.

VodkaKnockers Tue 22-Apr-14 19:29:31

In Scotland, you can change your name quite easily.

I changed my son's name and all I needed to complete was a change if name form obtained from the registry office and have it witnessed by a Justice of the Peace.

Not sure about England though

Cupid5tunt Tue 22-Apr-14 19:52:38

I'm Scotland too and didn't even have to do that. It does seem to be a lot easier here. The thing is though, if this guy is absent who would ever contest it? I think you wouldn't have any issues op.

Meglet Tue 22-Apr-14 21:25:37

I'm looking into this, XP has been gone for 5yrs, no contact in this time. So far I have established that I need the court form (as mentioned before) and will have to persuade the court it is in the DC's best interest for them to have a double-barrelled surname.

The deed poll office replied to my e-mail and said the courts can sometimes change surnames without asking the dad (it's not safe to contact him, he knows where we live) and double-barrelling gives me a better chance of it happening.

XP would contest it out of spite if he was asked, so I just have to hope I have enough evidence of his abuse to mean the court will agree to double-barrel it without involving him.

lostdad Wed 23-Apr-14 09:14:01

NeedsAsockamnesty `lostdad if they mean precisely nothing why is my eldest's deed poll perfectly legal evidence of a name change,why is it accepted by every single school she has attended,bank she has opened, doctor she has seen and court she has had cause to use?'

Oh, the answer to that's easy: They don't know the law.

Doctors and schools don't tend to know the law about parental responsibility either. I help a lot of non resident parents (mainly dads) who deal with name and PR issues and that is clearly the case.

A bank could give you a bank account of `Theo T. Wildebeest' if it wanted - it just generally has policies to not do things like that. Doctors and schools are staffed by people who don't know the law, don't check and take the word of whoever asks them to do something.

As Meglet says - you don't need the permission of a holder or PR to change a name. You can do that in court. But you'll be explaining to the judge or magistrate why it is in the best interests of the child to have a name other than what he/she already has.

But abuse is not much of a case - unless you're able to demonstrate that changing the child's name will reduce abuse(!) Simple question I ask any parent who wants to do this: What is your motivation here? The best interests of your kids or something else?

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 23-Apr-14 09:40:00

lost dad, significant abuse combined with no relationship is one of the most frequent reasons I come across for courts approving name changes.
But I would not expect you to have any comprehension of that given your normal stance about domestic abuse and parenting.

You don't need a deed poll to change your name, legally anybody can call themselves anything by public declaration but its a easy and cheap way of proving the public declaration and providing identification its misrepresenting to say they are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Given you are not legally qualified are you seriously trying to claim that you know the law better than a load of judges and several solicitors including the one who did the deed poll?

Fwiw, I have never come across a school (at least in the last 10 years) that did not take PR as seriously as they are meant to. I have never known them not have a explanation policy. Pretty much all they have to do is provide information to a parent with PR and be mindful that both parties with PR in the absence of a court order saying otherwise can act independently of each other, IME NRP's who claim the school have no clue about PR are usually expecting a school to police a matter they have no requirement or legal right to do or are expecting to be pandered to because they cannot be arsed to make information sharing a two way process. Because they have rights.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 23-Apr-14 09:44:08

meglet the last 5 court argued name changes I came across (all I the last 3 months) were all double barrel ones.

The court approved every one with the stipulation that the original name was the first one used (4 were mums where dads name was original 1 was dad where mums was original) one was a no show by the other parent.

lostdad Wed 23-Apr-14 10:14:59

NeedsAsockamnesty - `Fwiw, I have never come across a school (at least in the last 10 years) that did not take PR as seriously as they are meant to.'

I have.

I've assisted parents with schools who refused to speak to parents, hand children over, refused to let people attend parents evenings and more because they have been advised not to by the other parent.

Phrases like `We can't speak to you because Mum has told us not to' or `We won't talk to you without a court order' are very common.

For what's it's worth I've also dealt with doctors who have tried the same sort of thing. In fact I had it personally - to the extent that I had a formal complaint upheld against a PCT which decided that the 1989 Children Act could safely be ignored. And a Welsh LHB which tried the same thing.

I'm sorry you that you find my words unpalatable however.

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