Changing your name or the name of your children can be relatively straightforward using a Change of Name Deed, but to ensure you can make the change smoothly, it is a good idea to get the help of an experienced family lawyer.
The Family Law team here at Pickering & Butters regularly guide people from all backgrounds through legally changing their names and the names of their children, including in the event of marriage and divorce.
We can ensure your Change of Name Deed is prepared and submitted correctly, avoiding the risk of any delays or the Deed being rejected. We can also advise you on making sure all necessary documentation is completed correctly when you need to contact the Passport Office, DVLA, banks and other organisations to update them with your new name.
Get expert help with changing your name or the name of your children
How we can help you with change of name by deed poll
Changing your name after marriage or registering a civil partnership
In theory, you don’t need a Change of Name Deed to take your spouse’s surname on marriage or your partner’s surname when entering a civil partnership. All you need to do is send a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate to record-holders who should update your details free of charge.
However, some people do experience problems, particularly in situations such as where a man is taking his wife’s surname or where a couple are double barrelling their surname. A Change of Name Deed can give you certainty that your new name will be accepted by all relevant institutions, especially if you have already run into issues with this.
Changing your name after divorce
Similarly, if you divorce or end your civil partnership, you can revert to your maiden name by showing record-holders either your decree absolute or birth certificate.
However, we often find that organisations such as the Passport Office will require a Change of Name Deed as well. We can assist with this and provide you with the documentation you require, helping you to revert to your pre-marital name as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
Changing a child’s surname
When getting married or divorced, you may need to change your child’s surname to reflect your new family circumstances.
If the child is under 18, you can change their name by enrolling their new name at the Royal Courts of Justice. To do this, you will need to complete some forms, pay a small fee (currently £36) and submit the forms to the Queen’s Bench Division at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Before you can change a child’s name, you will either need the permission of everyone with parental responsibility (who has this will depend on the circumstances) or a court order.
Our family law solicitors can assist you with securing the agreement of your child’s other parent and anyone else with parental responsibility. If this cannot be secured, we will advise you on the process of applying to a family court for permission to change your child’s name.