Changing your name
You don’t have to follow a legal process to start using a new name – there’s no legal way to change your name – you simply can start using a new name whenever you like, however, if you want to use your new name on certain documents such as a passport and driving licence, you’ll need to get evidence of your new name.
The best way to do this is by making a Change of Name Deed, also known as making a deed poll.
A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name.
You can change any part, add or remove names and hyphens or change the spelling.
You must be 18 or over to make a deed poll and there are extra rules to consider about changing a child’s name.
Marriage and Civil Partnership
You don’t need a deed poll to take your partner’s surname. To update certain records, all that is often required is a copy of your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate to be sent to certain record-holders, e.g. benefits offices. Your documents and details will be then updated for free.
If you divorce or end your Civil Partnership
You may be able to go back to your original name by simply showing record-holders either your:
- Marriage certificate and decree absolute
- Civil Partnership certificate and final order
However, in certain instances and depending on the rules and regulations imposed by certain organisations, some will not change your name back without a Change of Name Deed or deed poll.
At Prism Family Law, we can provide an adult Change of Name Deed for a fixed fee of £50.00 inclusive of VAT with the guarantee of acceptance by others so that if any issues are raised any additional alterations or amendments are undertaken at no additional cost to you. Copies can also be provided should they be required to be sent to more than one organisation at a time to assist.
Changing a Child’s Name
To change the name of a child under the age of 18 (a minor) then you will need:
- The agreement or consent of everyone who shares parental responsibility for the child or
- A Court Order
You must try and reach an agreement with all those who share parental responsibility for the child before you seek an Order of the Court on the issue. If having attempted to reach an agreement you are unable to, then Prism Family Law can help either in negotiating upon the issue of the change of name proposed or alternatively by referring the parties to mediation with a view to the matter being resolved amicably.
If you are able to agree to the change of name, then Prism Family Law can draft and have signed the necessary forms to permit the change of name to take place. We offer a fixed fee service for this work and the fixed fee is also £50.00 inclusive of VAT with the guarantee that if any issue arises from the use of such deed then we do guarantee to make any additional alteration or amendments required at no additional cost to you.
What if those with parental responsibility do not consent to the change of name?
If having tried to reach an agreement with those who share parental responsibility for the child you are unable to reach a consensus on the issue then you can make an application to the Family Court for a specific issue order and the Family Court will consider the question of what the child should then be identified by.
Prism Family Law can help you with your application and assist you with the entirety of the Court process should you wish to pursue any application so far as it relates to the change of a child’s name. In such an instance, it would be advisable to take advantage of our free initial consultation so that you can consider all your available options.
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