A minor child’s name can be changed by the mother without the father’s consent under certain circumstances. However, the procedure is fairly similar to that for adults who wish to change their names.
It may be helpful to know the importance of a deed poll with respect to a child’s name change in India before delving into the question of whether the name of a child can be changed without its father’s consent. The difference between a deed poll and an agreement is that a deed poll involves a single party and outlines the action that would be binding on that party. As per the deed poll, the party is required to take action on that matter.
Ideally, a deed poll would be used to change the name. Even though there may be other forms of evidence, a deed poll is the primary source of documentary evidence. As an example, a married woman can use her marriage certificate as evidence when she takes her husband’s surname, so a deed poll is not necessary. If no other document can be produced for this purpose, a deed poll can be used.
Using a deed poll, a child’s name can be changed in the mentioned situation. The child must be 16 years or older (or nearing the 16th birthday) to apply for a name change via deed poll, and parental consent is not required.
It may be possible for a mother to change her child’s surname by a Deed Poll without the consent of an absent father (who has parental responsibility) whose whereabouts are unknown. Generally, this occurs when a mother wishes to change her child’s name, but the child has taken the surname of the father, and the father is physically absent because of judicial separation or divorce.
To change a child’s name without the consent of the father, follow these steps:
- 1 How does a name change work?
- 2 When can a child’s name be changed without the father’s permission? :::
- 3 How to change a child’s name and surname:
- 4 To change a child’s name, follow these steps:
How does a name change work?
In India, people can change their names for many reasons, including social, religious, or cultural reasons. It is a common practice in India for women to change their names after marriage. Different jurisdictions have different procedures for changing names. In common law jurisdictions, it is more lenient than in civil law jurisdictions.
It is not unusual for parents to want to change the names of their children. There could be various reasons for this in a country like India. With respect to minors, the procedure is similar to that for adults. Under certain unusual circumstances, parents can change the names of their children without the consent of the other.
When can a child’s name be changed without the father’s permission? :::
In most cases, when a child’s name needs to be changed, both parents must consent. The name change petition can, however, be approved in some specialized circumstances without the consent of the other parent, as outlined below:
- The child’s surname can be changed without the consent of the estranged parent in cases where one parent’s parental rights have been terminated legally
- It is the mother’s right to change the child’s last name without obtaining the consent of the separated spouse when the mother has sole physical custody of the child and she has not remarried and the paternal rights have not been claimed.
- The mother can change the child’s name without the consent of the father if she is unable to find her husband or it is unknown where he is located.
How to change a child’s name and surname:
The procedure to change a person’s name can be done by adults themselves, but the parents are responsible for this procedure for minors. There are three main steps to this process:
Affidavit of Name Change
An affidavit for name change must contain the full name, age, address, reason for the name change, signature, and all other formalities must be sworn in front of a notary or magistrate. The mother must sign on behalf of the minor child in the space for the deponent’s signature. Notaries or commissioners for oaths should certify the document.
Advertisement in the newspaper
The name change notice must appear in a national newspaper published in the county where the applicant resides. The advertisement should list the applicant’s old name and the new name, the applicant’s full address, the testimony’s name, and the date of the affidavit.
Name Change to be Announced in the Gazette:
The last step in the process is to change the name. Upon payment of the fee, the name change is published in the gazette. Documents such as the affidavit, the newspaper where the advertisement was published and attested passport-size photos should be attached to the affidavit.
Keeping copies of the notification of the name change, published in the gazette, would be prudent. Documents like a passport, election ID, or school transcripts may need to be changed if the name needs to be changed.
To change a child’s name, follow these steps:
To change a child’s name, a series of legal procedures must be followed.
Filing a court petition:
Changes in a child’s name can be petitioned by the state. In addition to an official petition with all the details, additional documentation is required to support the petition.
The other parent should be informed of the change of name:
The father, in this case, must be notified about the change of name by providing the newspaper advertisement in which it was published.
Here are the court’s hearings:
If the judge asks any questions to the mother who intends to change the name of the minor child, she should be prepared to answer them correctly. The other parent can object to the change of name, and the judge will decide the case on its merits.
It is much less complicated to change a minor’s name if both parents consent to it. If a parent wants to change the name of the child without the consent of the other parent, he or she must prove that the other parent has effectively abandoned the child for a considerable period of time. The stated proposition also poses its own challenges, as in any legal proceeding. However, when handled by seasoned professionals like Vakil Search, the process can be streamlined to a great extent and can be completed expeditiously at a reasonable price.