Professional advice to help you change your name legally
If you are seeking to change your name, you may want to use a Change of Name Deed so that you have formal written evidence to present to official organisations. Contact our team today for advice on how best to achieve this.
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How do I change my name?
In England and Wales there are no restrictions on changing your name, unlike many other countries. This means that you can simply start using the name you wish and it is legally considered your name through usage. However, this is not the case if you are changing your name with intent to defraud or mislead which has significant implications.
What is a Change of Name Deed?
Although there is no legal process to changing your name, you will need formal evidence if you wish to apply for a new passport, driving license, or if you need to provide documentation to your bank and other organisations. For example, many women wish to change their name after a divorce so that it is officially recognised. Our Family Law solicitors can prepare a Change of Name Deed for you which you can then present to these organisations.
A Change of Name Deed is a contract that essentially means that you are promising to use your new name, and renouncing your previous name. It is a more private method of recording your change of name. You should acquire multiple copies of the Deed to ensure you can submit them to different organisations. However, if you do want to create a public record of your new name, you can register a Deed Poll in the Enrolment Books of the Supreme Court of Judicature, which is within the Royal Courts of Justice in London. These details are then logged in the London Gazette.
The process usually has a very quick turnaround and minimal costs.
How do I change a child's name?
Similar to an adult’s change of name, there is no legal procedure that has to be followed in order for the change to occur, the change of name comes from usage. However, each person with parental responsibility must agree to this change, or else it is not considered valid. The only way this can be allowed is if a court gives permission for the change to go ahead. This lasts until the child is 16 years old, in which case they have the say in their name.
If there are disputes over your child’s name after divorce, it is important that you speak to one of our family law solicitors to get the right advice, as this can be a challenging area.