What’s in a name?

By | July 9th, 2019|

A frequent issue for family lawyers includes the change of a child’s surname after separation.  This constitutes a long term issue for the child and that means both parents must consent to the name change or a Judge must approve it.  The test of what is in the best interest of a child remains the primary consideration.

In these cases the Court will consider the short and long term effects to the child of a change of surname, any confusion of identity that can arise with respect to a child if the name is changed or not changed, the nature of the relationship between the child whose name is under discussion and their parents and if there have been any other changes to the child’s name.

A child’s name can be important in linking a child’s identity with parents and families.  It is not unusual for a Court to agree that if both parents are active in their child’s life that both names should be used.  Of course most people are able to resolve an issue like this through discussion or with the assistance of family lawyers and mediators.

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