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Help please - legality of name changes?

(12 Posts)
upwalthambarnsahoy Fri 30-Sep-11 20:35:26

My friend has split up with the father of her child who turned out to be a very nasty piece of work. The child has Dad's surname as they were together when he was born.

I would be grateful for any advice on changing the nipper's name. I am assuming that the surname can't be changed without the father's permission but have heard of situations where a name is added on the end so dad's permission is not needed - has anyone done this?

As an example, child's name is jane brown, brown being dad's surname. can mum change the name by deed poll to jane brown orange, with orange being mum's surname so child is jane orange to all intents and purposes?

Any advice gratefully received!!

kunahero Fri 30-Sep-11 20:43:30

As far as I am aware you can do a change of name by deed poll quite easily and without fathers consent. My SIL did it without too much fuss.
CAB and the internet can help.
Good luck.

FabbyChic Fri 30-Sep-11 20:46:19

If you want his name changed legally then the father has to give their consent, I also think you cannot change it by deed poll if the child is of a certain age.

My childrens father was violent/abusive and I suffered emotional cruelty.

But I'd never have considered changing their names, kids only have one father a name change does not alter that.

meltedchocolate Fri 30-Sep-11 20:55:15

My DS's father turned out to be a terrible guy and father BUT I would NEVER think of changes DS's name. It is his, not mine, and his right to change it. I have decided to keep X's surname so I can have the same name as DS. This is the only thing I can see as fair if you are not willing to talk to the father. I don't think legally you can anyway.

upwalthambarnsahoy Fri 30-Sep-11 20:58:42

thank you both for your answers.

fabby chic, there is a similar situation here re violence and i am interested in why you didn't consider changing your childrens' name - all i can see, with my friend, is if they had not been together at the time of birth the child would have mum's surname and not dad's but coz of timings she has dad's. even though he'd never had much to do with her. dad now is not really involved but is on the birth certificate but mum would like her and baby to have the same name.

but i don't have any children, hence trying to understand lots of viewpoints!

Yama Fri 30-Sep-11 21:03:39

Well, my view is that women should give their children their own surname.

Don't know what to do in this instance sorry.

I think (and someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that your friend can change her dd's name wil Dr, school, dentist etc to her name without actually changing it by deed poll. Her dd can do that herself when she is 16.

kunahero Fri 30-Sep-11 21:09:55

Yama may be right. as i said my SIL did it and she has had no contact from exdp apart from finding out he is in prison for attempted murder of dp! I think she just told all concerned that dc's name was now ....... although it may be different on birth cert.

meltedchocolate Fri 30-Sep-11 21:14:00

"Well, my view is that women should give their children their own surname."

Even in a real partnership where the child is their child not hers? Surely then it should be a mutual choice... hmm

OP, having given the same answer as Fabby, I can answer that Q aswell. He already has his 'father's' name. It is now his whether or not I like it. He now has the right to chose whether to change it or not. If he is old enough to think the situation through and decide that he wants to get rid of every trace of his father that remained (except blood) then I feel that is now his choice. BUT I wanted to have the same name as my son, so even though I do not want this name, I am old enough to chose what I want to do. So I will keep X's name so I can be the same as DS. I have made my choice and left him to make his. I have not and will not take that away from him.

Alambil Fri 30-Sep-11 21:37:52

If the father has parental responsibility, his permission will need to be sought. Deed poll let you write to them and tell them the efforts you've gone to to find them if they are not in contact... I had to do that with my ex. I didn't know his address, he hadn't been in contact for 3 years and DS was getting upset having a different name. I wrote to Deed poll with the application and it went through with no issues... best £40 I ever, ever spent

upwalthambarnsahoy Fri 30-Sep-11 21:38:43

I agree that the normal starting point is theirs. Although I also sort of believe it becomes hers when after nearly 2 years dad has not even ever changed a nappy and is a domestic abuser.

Thank you for your POV ladies. It is appreciated.

Beckamaw Fri 30-Sep-11 22:17:07

My partner's ex wife decided to try and change his children's names to that of her new husband. She requested permission but it was denied. So she took it to court and failed.
The judge was quite clear that the name is significant in a child's identity. It isn't just about where or who they took the name from.
If the father has parental responsibilty it cannot be changed without their permission unless a court decides that it in the best interest of the child.

Oh, and the court were clear that she cannot just put something else in the middle or at the end of the name, without the father's permission. Sorry.

sarahtigh Fri 30-Sep-11 22:27:01

you can not change it without fathers permission and it is not considered unreasoanble of him to refuse even if little contact

had these [problem with a family twice she wanted name changed on medical records even though no deed poll, it could not be done neither do i think can the school change it even informally.

I am willing to be corrected but once a child is given a name and surname it is legally considered to be childs name not his/her father's/mother's name, if father did not sign birth certificate as father but mother said oh the surname is brown when her surname is black, then if brown has no parental respponsibilty she may be able to change it to brown but you can make changes to child name easier in first few months than once they are 1 year old,

i dont think she can be formally called jane orange and you have to really try and trace father not send text /letter to an address you know he is not at.

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