A name of a child found to be damaging to a child’s emotional welfare

Justine Woodcock of Astle Paterson’s Family & Divorce department, discusses the recent High Court ruling that a mother is able change her child’s name without the consent of the father.

Justine explained “A father’s appeal against a Court ruling allowing the mother to change the name of their child has been dismissed by His Honour Judge Mark Rogers, a High Court Family Judge.

The previous Judge at the Family Court at Lincoln had ruled that the mother of the child could drop the child’s middle name, which was “not eccentric or in itself offensive”, but had an “association with a notorious public figure” and which the Court deemed to be sufficient to be damaging to the child’s emotional welfare.

The father, who favoured the middle name, appealed the decision to the higher Court, however, His Honour Judge Mark Rogers dismissed the appeal.”

Justine continued “In normal circumstances, it is not possible to change the name of a child without the consent of both parents.

However, in this case, whilst neither the Court nor anybody else involved in the case are allowed to reveal what the name was, there was clearly enough potential emotional harm that the name could cause to the child for the senior Family Judge to be persuaded to depart from the usual position.”

Should you wish to discuss changing the name of your child then please contact Justine Woodcock on 01283 531366 or by way of email at

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