Changing your name can be quite easy. If you are aged 16 or over, you can instruct solicitors to prepare and execute a change of name deed. Once completed, you will most likely be given the original change of name deed (you should ensure this is kept in a safe place) and certified copies, which can be provided to your doctors, bank, DVLA, etc so they can update your details to your new legal name.
To change the name of a child under the age of 16, all parties with parental responsibility (usually the child’s mother and father) must consent. If consent is obtained, as above, a change of name deed can be prepared and executed by your solicitor. Both parents are likely to need to confirm their consent within the deed, as well as signing it.
If one party with parental responsibility does not consent to the change of name, an application may need to be made to Court for a Judge to decide whether the name change should take place, should matters not be able to be resolved between yourselves, through mediation or using solicitors.
Mediation is a process whereby a mediator will work with both parties to help you make important decisions regarding your children. It is a safe space to discuss issues and discussions are not legally binding, until you reach an agreement which is right for the both of you and more importantly, your child.
If an application is made to Court, when considering whether the name should be changed, the Court will have regard to the welfare of the child; whether the name change is in their best interests; and wishes and feelings of the child (depending on the child’s age).
If you are considering changing your name or changing the name of your child, please contact us on 01423 637272 for a free half an hour consultation during which we can provide you with further advice and guidance.
Please note that we also offer a mediation service. For more information or to arrange an appointment please call the number above.