Parental responsibility and your child’s surname


We look at the issue of parental responsibility over the summer period and the issue of a child’s surname when travelling abroad.

Given the summer holidays are soon approaching we are receiving a number of enquires regarding parental responsibility and particularly the issue of where the child’s surname is the same as the father’s but the parents are no longer together.
For example, some requests we are receiving  are to assist with a change of name deed so that the child’s surname can be changed to either the mother’s surname or the stepfather’s surname to assist with the child’s passport application or schools admission form.  
However, this is not possible where the child is born from 1 December 2003 and the father’s name is on the birth certificate or the parties are married or have been married.  In such cases, the father’s consent to the change of name is required or failing this an application will need to be made to the court for the Judge to decide whether it would be in the child’s best interests for the surname to be changed. This is a lengthy and costly process and could be avoided if the parents at the time of registering the child’s birth adopted both parents surnames. 
This approach would also assist when travelling out of the jurisdiction without the father particularly as some clients have reported being questioned by immigration officers both in this country and abroad for fear the child has been abducted because they do not have the same surname as the mother.

Find out more

For more information on your particular case please contactour Family Law Team on 01708 22944


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For help and advice, talk to a member of our team. They can advise on the best options in your matter.

Call: 01708 229 444 Email us


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