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Changing Child's Surname

52 replies

confuzed · 26/10/2008 10:20

Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice.

I split up with my OH in August. We weren't married.

I would like to change my DS's surname so it is my surname and not my ex's.

My Ex doesn't want me to do this.

I have my son living with me full time. My ex sees him every weekend. My ds is 18 months.

Can anyone let me know what my rights are about changing my son's name and how I would go about it?

Thank you to anyone who can help

OP posts:
ninah · 26/10/2008 10:53

If your ex registered the birth with you he will have parental responsibility and you'll need his consent for a name change. Why the need for change? Since you decided to give ds your ex's name in the first place it seems a bit odd to change now especially as ex is involved with ds and sees him every weekend.

confuzed · 26/10/2008 11:25

Good point Ninah. I suppose there's a lot of history there that I didn't explain. His family don't like me and every time I write my son's name down with their surname it gets to me.

When I gave my ds my ex's name I assumed we'd be together forever and get married. Although I wasn't 100% happy about it at the time, I went along with it to keep him happy.

Now it's just me on my own, I feel that name has nothing to do with me and no connection to me at all (as we weren't married).

I hope that explains it a bit better although I can see it may look strange to you.

OP posts:
mankyscotslass · 26/10/2008 11:31

I think you would struggle to get it changed without his consent, given the fact he has PR and is involved. Legally I don't think there is much you can do in these circumstances.

confuzed · 26/10/2008 12:25

Ok. Thanks for your help guys.

OP posts:
yerblurt · 26/10/2008 17:53

If dad is named on the birth certificate as the father and the child was born after dec 2003, then the father automatically has Parental Responsibility (PR).

You would need the consent of dad to change the surname.

Why on earth would you want to change the child's surname? It provides a biological and genetic link with his/her father. Turn the tables around - how would you like it? Probably not.

Also bear in mind that it is illegal for the child to be named or to be known by by another surname - so this includes using a different name "informally".

The father would be within his legal rights to make an application to court for a Prohibitive Steps Order/Specific Issue Order to prevent the child being known by another name. You should also be aware that the courts system look very dimly on attempts to change names of children from what they were born with... choose your battles wisely.

Liffey · 26/10/2008 18:07

You've just given me a fabulous idea OP.

My x sees his children but I pay for everything. He gives us nothing, and because I love the children and don't want to damage them, and he takes advantage of that fact and abuses it... I have absolutely no 'bargaining position' if you want to call it that. NOT that I should have to beg or bargain for some financial assistance. BUT.... nevertheless, you have just given me something that I can threaten to do. I like my sur name. It is fabulous. His is stupid and the first half of it rhymes with ARSE.

Liffey · 26/10/2008 18:09

Yerblert, I thought that unmarried father's name on the bc rule only came into effect about 2005. Because I know my two children were born on either side of the rule.

ninah · 26/10/2008 20:59

are you quite sure it is illegal to be known by another surname yerblurt? never heard that.
Also agree with liffey that the pr rule came in 2005 or after, my dc also born on either side of it.
I know what you mean confuzed and I wouldn't like my dc to be known by a diff surname from mine, but I can't think of a way round this really unless your ex will agree to a change. Maybe discuss change to double barrel job?

Pawslikepaddington · 26/10/2008 21:06

Ooh this is quite interesting. My dd has no contact with her dad, and I was strong armed into putting his surname on the birth cert (bad mental violence at home so I did everything he asked pretty much) so the surname STILL makes me cringe 5 years on. Loads of people address dd's b'day and xmas cards with my surname, as they have never asked what it is-surely that isn't illegal? That's a silly rule! Would love to change it if I could-she's an early 2004. Sorry, bad hijack there

Liffey · 26/10/2008 21:10

People change their names by deed poll don't they? It's not an insurmountable obstacle. I'm sure there's a lot of form-filling and so on... but I doubt it's absolutely IMpossible.

Think I will google it now.

nolongeraworriedmummy · 26/10/2008 21:11

I was married but will be reverting back to maiden name now split, I have give dd my surname just before her original surname, its double barralled and a pain in the backside but it saves a lot of confusion on forms and things when I sign a different surname to dds.

Saying that a form the school nurse had recieved, that had been held up god knows where for 10 months had old surname on and school had said dds new name and school nurse rang me regarding the form and said ok im going to look an idiot here but did dd use to be x or do I have the wrong child

Paws I "think" in your situation that you can change your dds name by deadpoll if you want to do it officially.

nolongeraworriedmummy · 26/10/2008 21:13

Liffey you can change your name by deedpoll online, not lots of forms, its pretty easy

and of course I mean DEED poll not DEAD poll like my last post reads

Liffey · 26/10/2008 21:15

not impossible but you need to go to court

Pawslikepaddington · 26/10/2008 21:16

Hehe, that's quite funny! That's quite exciting, she could be MY daughter again instead of people thinking I'm the Aupair! , or even worse getting called Mrs X evil man!

Pawslikepaddington · 26/10/2008 21:17

Not that she isn't my daughter but you all know how annoying it is when people ask who YOU are when your surnames don't match up, because she has the surname of some idiot that doesn't want to see her.

Liffey · 26/10/2008 21:18

For a child under 14 still quite hard. children 14-17 easy if it's what they want.

Liffey · 26/10/2008 21:19

paws, I hate that too, getting post to Mrs ARSE. That's the ARse's mother.

dsrplus8 · 26/10/2008 21:19

ask your child what he/she wants, its their name ,not yours, not your exs, [theirs]

Liffey · 26/10/2008 21:22

my dc5 would like to be gillespie. we all are, me, my mum,my dad, her uncles her cousins. All gillespies, and she has a shitty name that rhymes with Arse.

Pawslikepaddington · 26/10/2008 21:23

Dammit, I can't change dd's because I know where her dad lives, and there is no way he would consent. She calls herself my name anyway (nothing I have said I promise), she just says that she has her daddy's name but likes her mummy more so wants to be "matchies". It's only a silly name, why do I get so worked up?!?!

MascaraOHara · 26/10/2008 21:26

MY dd has been asking for my surname for a good year now.. (she has her absent violent fathers surname)

I want to change it, but she was in recption when she started asking and I felt I had misse dthe boat to not do it before school.

When she goes to middle school I will give her the choice and if she wants to change then she can.

I'm kind of with my own df who is of the mind that he doesn't deserve for my dd to have his name.

It's so hard to always know that what you are doing is best for the child and not just best for you.

NotBigNotClever · 26/10/2008 21:31

You can change your child's surname only if you get official consent from your child's father (if the father has parental responsibility). This is also true if you want your child to just use your surname without actually changing by their name by deed poll (i.e. the "known as" situation).

Liffey · 26/10/2008 21:51

Why do we stil live in such a patriarchal society that fathers can abuse their x partners, never visit their children, never contribute to them..... and yet, it is still a legal nightmare to give them their mother's surname.

My x would never give consent either. Mind you he won't give us any money either, so maybe if I go to court over one, I could do the other. I'd back down over the name, as I need money more urgently.

BIG, would schools, health authorities, doctors and so on use the known as name?

NotBigNotClever · 26/10/2008 22:00

Liffey, it was my experience that the school agreed to use the known as name only with the express permission of my exH. And the health authority and doctor flatly refused to use the known as name, permission or no permission: they would only use my dd's legal surname. This caused her a great deal of upset when she was admitted to hospital and they insisted on everything being in a surname she really didn't want to use. (Ex later died and she changed her name by deed poll anyway, but in order to get her a passport in that name I still have to send the ex's death cert to the passport office along with the other paperwork).

MascaraOHara · 26/10/2008 22:01

my only saving grace is the my ex doesn't have PR

I feel I should do things like this before he ever gets his sorry arse round to applying (it would only be to spite me)

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