Can I change my children’s surname without my ex-partner's consent?

Any application to change a child’s (person under the age of 18) surname by deed poll must be supported by the written consent of every person with parental responsibility for the child or by leave of the Court. Parental responsibility refers to the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that by law a parent has in regard to a child. All mothers are automatically awarded parental responsibility at the birth of their child. All married fathers are also automatically awarded parental responsibility. Unmarried fathers gain parental responsibility if they are named on the birth certificate and their child was born after 2003. If your ex-partner will not agree to a change of your children’s surname, you must make an application to the Court. The Court views the change of a child’s surname as a very profound matter and will therefore require good evidence as to why a change is necessary.

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