There are special rules when it comes to changing the name of a child’s birth certificate. We discuss how the courts view this issue.
Couples usually manage to agree about the name of their child — sometimes even before the child is born. But what about after the parents split up? If the person with whom the child normally lives wants to change the name, how should he/she go about it?
This arises from time to time when a mother remarries, changes her own name and wants to change the name of her child too. There are special rules when it comes to changing the name on a child’s birth certificate but there’s more to it than that.
The law is a little more complex than you might think but, as always, the welfare of the child is the main test. The Courts tend to accept that a child will benefit from a sense of identity with the original family unit, if any, but each case is looked at individually and in the light of its own facts. In one extreme English case a change was allowed in order to make it more difficult for a seriously abusive father to find the child.
Naming a child is a discharge of parental responsibility and therefore the exercise of a parental right but that ‘right’ must not be overstated. It’s the child’s welfare that counts.
bto Family Law experts are dedicated family lawyers specialising in helping you with divorce, separation and any aspect of family law, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland.