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Question
Posted by: Louise | 2011/08/08

surname change

Hi
I just want to know can i change my child surname to my married surname he was on my surname before i got married to my hubby>  the father of the child is not in the pic since he was a few months old and he doesnt pay any money toward the child nor does he phone and find out how he is doing. my hubby is a dad since my baby was 13months old and he doesnt know his real dad only my hubby cause he is always been there for us.

I want to change his surname cause of 2 reasons.
I want him to feel like a family if we all have the same surname and
if i have another child they will have both the same surname and he wont get teased at school with a dif surname.
I got no contact with the real dad and i dont ever see him yet he stays in the same city as me.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

You can change the surname of a minor:

If the child’s mother is married to a person who is not the biological father of the child and you wish to change the child’s surname to that of the husband.
If the mother, after her divorce from, or the death of her husband (father of child), wishes to change the child's surname to her maiden surname or to another surname she bears legally; or if she has remarried, to the surname of her new husband.
If the child is born out of wedlock but registered under the biological father's surname and the mother wishes to change the child's surname to hers.
If the minor is under the care of a guardian and the guardian wishes to change the child's surname to his/hers.

There may be other situations not mentioned above where a good and sufficient reason exists to change a minor's surname.

Requirements:

You are required by law to get the written consent of the biological father if the child was born in wedlock, unless the court grants a ruling overriding this requirement.

If you want your child to use the surname of your husband, who is not the biological father of the child, you must also get written consent from your husband.

You must get the written consent of both biological parents, including good and sufficient reasons, in writing, for the change.

What you should do

Go to your nearest Home Affairs office or to the South African embassy or mission if you apply abroad.

If your child is born out of wedlock and you have married a person other than your child's biological father and you wish to change the child’s surname to your husband, you must:
complete form DHA - 193 bring affidavit from the stepfather to assume his surname and marriage certificate.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
A:1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
F: 086 572 8373
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: FIO | 2011/08/11

Just remember, the CHildrens Acvt supercededes any other act pertaining to children. So where onelaw may say one thing, and the CHildrens Act says another thing, the childrens act prevails. Not enough people make use of this clause in the act,

Reply to FIO
Posted by: FIO | 2011/08/11

You can fight back, as lomng as you have full parental rights and responsibilites. The Childrens ACt supercededs any other act. Therefore, if you have full rights and responsibilities, ex cannot hange name without your concent. Further, with full rights and guardianship, you can approach the court top have the name chaged as well. So, are the courts going to allow this constant name chanmge eb=very 3 months? No. They will look atmerits,and they wil ldecide that Childrens isupercedes any other act, and yiou can have name changed back, and probably win with costs. Find an attorney who has the balls to challenge the SA constitution and CHildrens Act. Sadly the only time they challenge acts is when they know they have a losing case and will get their money anyhow. The guys who know they have a winning case are just too afraid to challenge matters that could end up going to constitutional court. WHo will oay for this.

The law is very clear, but some people have different interpretations. In this case, when parents share equal rights ans responsibilities,even as a non lawyer I would go to court to challenge a ruling against this.

Recently I fought against a magistrate, and beat her becasue my knowledge and logical interpretation and application of the law was more right than her stuck beyrocratic ways.

Do your homeworl, read the words carefull interpret them even more carefully, and then take thebull by the horns. My motto, and although its stirs lots of mud on the way, the watre I get cleaerer than what my opposition gets. I smile. Just take thebul and run with the knowledge you believe u have.

Reply to FIO
Posted by: Anon | 2011/08/10

FIO, sadly you are wrong my ex changed our son''s surname without my consent and I contacted even Dr Dlamini Zuma''s office in March this year. They have changed the forms on the internet in May after I started to make waves. (I got all my e-mails and they are not very helpfull the ladies working at Home Affairs HO) I even contacted an Advocate she is trying to find out for me but if you read the forms as per the Home Affairs site the mother can basically do anything if you weren''t married. I personally think according to the New Children''s Act that the father out of wedlock has more rights and the BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRATION ACT, 1992 should also be amended as it is now outdated.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: FIO | 2011/08/09

One more thing, if the father has guardianship, it may not be that easy either, since both parents would have equal rights, and both guardians would have the right ot change the surname.

It would become a court battle if the father does not agree to thename change, the court would have to decide the matter on the merits of each parents argument. In your case you would have astrong aurgument, but my personal feeling regarding any other mother with a child born out of wedlock, be sure yu have sufficient valid reason, especially if father has guardianship and does play a role in childs life.

Reply to FIO
Posted by: FIO | 2011/08/09

I disagree that you can change without the fathers consent. You can change the surname to yours if born out of wedlock, but one of the requirements is that both natural parents written consent is required, with good reason in the form of affidavit.

This requirement can be waivered by the court, but I do not believe that you can just do it without consent, and without valid reason in the absence of fathers consent.

Reply to FIO
Posted by: Lopuise | 2011/08/08

I wasnt married to the father so can i just go and make a new id for him or how do i go about that?

Reply to Lopuise
Posted by: Anon | 2011/08/08

If you weren''t married to the father of your child you can change the child''s surname withouth his persimission. If you were married you have to get written permission from the father.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: family law expert | 2011/08/08

You can change the surname of a minor:

If the child’s mother is married to a person who is not the biological father of the child and you wish to change the child’s surname to that of the husband.
If the mother, after her divorce from, or the death of her husband (father of child), wishes to change the child's surname to her maiden surname or to another surname she bears legally; or if she has remarried, to the surname of her new husband.
If the child is born out of wedlock but registered under the biological father's surname and the mother wishes to change the child's surname to hers.
If the minor is under the care of a guardian and the guardian wishes to change the child's surname to his/hers.

There may be other situations not mentioned above where a good and sufficient reason exists to change a minor's surname.

Requirements:

You are required by law to get the written consent of the biological father if the child was born in wedlock, unless the court grants a ruling overriding this requirement.

If you want your child to use the surname of your husband, who is not the biological father of the child, you must also get written consent from your husband.

You must get the written consent of both biological parents, including good and sufficient reasons, in writing, for the change.

What you should do

Go to your nearest Home Affairs office or to the South African embassy or mission if you apply abroad.

If your child is born out of wedlock and you have married a person other than your child's biological father and you wish to change the child’s surname to your husband, you must:
complete form DHA - 193 bring affidavit from the stepfather to assume his surname and marriage certificate.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
A:1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
F: 086 572 8373
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert

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