Change name lawyer

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Surname attribution

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Reasons for changing your name

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Change name process

PacisLexis Family Law

Change name lawyer

Every person has a surname representing a person’s civil identity, connecting family members between them.

In France, historically, children’s surname is the father’s surname.

Nowadays, relating to gender gap issues, this rule doesn’t apply all the time. Indeed, parents can give their children the father’s surname, the mother’s surname or both.

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Surname attribution

Are there different types of surname?


There are 3 variations:

  • The full name: it’s the name that parents give to their children’s at birth.
  • The given name: as nickname
  • The maiden name: women or men taking the husband or wife’s surname
What to do when both parents agree on their child’s surname?

Both parents must mention the chosen name to the civil registration’s clerk upon the birth certificate.

What to do when both parents disagree on their child’s surname?

When parents disagree on their child’s surname, one partner must file a disagreement form to the civil registration’s clerk before the child is born.

The parent who disagrees will have to produce the form to the civil registration’s clerk upon the child’s birth.

The child will be given a double-barrelled version of both parents’ surname in alphabetical order.

What’s happening when both parents did not choose their child’s surname?

When parents didn’t choose their child’s surname, the child will be given the legal parent’s surname first.

When the legal parents are the birth parents, the child will be given the father’s name.

What’s the child’s surname when there is only one legal parent?

The child’s surname will be the legal parent’s name or the one acquires the parental responsibilities towards the child.

Can both parents give different surnames to their children?


Children with same parents must be given the same surname.

For example, the oldest can’t be given the father’s surname and the baby one the mother’s name.

Can a stillbirth get a surname?


A stillbirth can be given a surname.

If the baby is born alive and has no sign of health issues, but dies before the birth certificate is issued, the civil registration clerk will issue both the birth and the death certificates.

Parents must provide a medical statement indicating the day and the hour of the baby’s death.

What are the legal restrictions on surname?

The concept of a name involves several characteristics:

  • Name is unchangeable: it can’t be changed only because you want to.
  • Name is non-transferable: it can’t be transferred or sold.
  • Name is inalterable: a name can’t be acquired over time or lost because unused.

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Reasons for changing your name

Reasons for changing your name

You can change your name:

  • If you get married.
  • Through adoption
  • That causes public offence
Maiden and married names

In France, women take the husband’s surname but they can also choose to keep their maiden name or change to a double barrelled-version of both partners’ surname.

Do spouses change for a middle name?


Spouses can keep their birth surname.

In which case the adoptee’s name change?

The child’s birth name changes for the intended parent(s)’s one when it’s a full adoption.

In a case of a simple adoption, the adoptee’s name can change to a double barrelled version of both birth and intended parent(s).

To learn more about adoption, please follow that link:


Could you give some other legal raisons to change one’s name?
  • Gender reassignment
  • Names that are vulgar, offensive or libelous to an individual. Example: Mrs socks
  • Their given name is famous but has a bad reputation all over the world. Ex: Mr Hitler
  • To avoid the name to die
  • To celebrate a name that is being used for a long time and gets famous. Ex: Sophie MAUPU is known as Sophie Marceau, so she could potentially ask to change her civil registration name.
  • For biological brothers and sisters to have the same name
  • Names associated with criminal activities. Example: Émile LOUIS (French serial killer)’s children
  • To anglicise or de-anglicise a foreign name
Can you change your name several times?


Life is changing and people are moving on.

Thus, someone can have their father’s name at the beginning, to double-barrelled with their step-mother name (simple adoption) before getting married and change for their partner’s name.

Can someone under 18 years old change their name?


If you are under 18 years old, you can change your name.

Parents or guardians can ask to change their name.

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Reasons for changing your name:… next

Can parents change the name of their children?


Parents can decide to change to a double-barrelled version of both birth and intended parent(s) if a birth parent turns up when a child is less than 18 years old.

Is child’s consent to change their name required when it’s not adoption related?

Yes !

The child’s consent is required when they are over 13 years old.

Can a child change their name several times?


Only once.

Does the children’s surname change when parents surname change?


When a parent with parental rights wants to change their name, their children’s name will also get to change.

Over 13 years old, a consent is required.

What is the most up-to-date legal news about changing a name?

A bill was adopted by the Senate on February 15, 2022 (Bill on the choice arising from birth rights).

This text provides that a change of name is allowed in the following situations:

  • if a parent wants to change for a double-barrelled name, they can do so with their partner’s agreement or the judge’s agreement.
  • A less than 18 years-old child can change their name for a double-barrelled name of both parents.
  • An over 18 year-old can change their name for a double-barrelled name of both parents. It will be their middle name.

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Legally changing name process

Who can ask for a name change?

You can enrol your own name change if you’re 18 or over.

How to change your surname after marriage?

Changing your name after marriage is not an automation process.

The process to change your surname to a maiden name involves to complete a statutory declaration of name change.

In the UK you can change your name at any time using a deed poll or statutory declaration.

Quelle est la procédure pour changer de nom dans le cadre de l’adoption ?

Le changement de nom dans le cadre de l’adoption est réglé au cours de la procédure judiciaire d’adoption.

How to change your surname with adoption?


The process to change your name with adoption is automatically involved during the legal adoption proceedings.


How to change your surname for legal reasons?
  1. Advertise a request in name change in the ‘Journal Officiel’ as legal announcement newspaper in English.
  2. Send a request notification to the Minister of Justice.
  3. The minister of Justice serves a decree to legally change your name.
  4. French state of council serves a statutory declaration of name change or rejection.
How to advertise your surname change in the French legal announcement newspaper?

To advertise your name change, you must fill out the appropriate online application form to the French legal announcement newspaper following that link:

The cost to change your name is €110.

The timeline to get advertised is between 3 to 5 days.

The proof of the ad is available to download online by following that link:

In France do I need a lawyer to change my name?


It is not compulsory but highly recommended to speed-up the process.

In the UK, do I need a lawyer to change my name?

Changing your name is pretty much straightforward and can be done without a solicitor.

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Legally changing name process:…Next

How long does it take to get a statutory declaration from the Minister of justice?

It will depend on the case. When the request is difficult, the Public prosecutor can investigate the case and ask for the French council of state for advice.

Timeline can be from several months to years.

What is happening when a name change is agreed by the Minister of Justice?

When a name change is agreed, the decree gets advertised on the legal announcement newspaper.

A copy of the decree is sent by recorded letter to the claimant.

The Public prosecutor requests a change of the claimant’s civil registration.

If the public prosecutor doesn’t request the change, the claimant will have to ask for the change.

The change of name must also be recorded on the civil registration of the spouse or partner as the children of the claimant.

What is happening when a name change is not allowed by the Minister of Justice?

A recorded letter will be served to the claimant in case of a name change is refused by the minister of justice.

Is it possible to challenge a rejection in name change?


You can challenge a rejection in name change before the administration court of justice within 2 months from the date of service.

Is a lawyer compulsory in case of a rejection in name change?


It is not compulsory but highly recommended.

Can a third-party object to the name change?


If a third-party has a serious ground, they can object to the name change.

The objection can only occur between the advertisement in the legal announcement newspaper and the statutory declaration also advertised in the legal announcement newspaper.

If the decree has already been advertised in the legal announcement newspaper, the third-party will have to go before the council of state within 2 months after the ad has been published.

When the decree of name change is officially legal?

When the decree of name change is officially legal?

If there is no objection from a third-party, the decree of name change is legal within 2 months after being advertised.

What is the process to change a name that sounds more ‘French’?

When someone gets the French citizenship and their name doesn’t sound French, they can request a name change.

A name change is agreed by a report from the minister who delivers passports or by a decree stipulating the French citizenship.

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