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Family Law: termination of parental rights, rights of the child, child support. (Russia)
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Question

Can a child change his last name after 4 years since his parents got divorced in case he was given father's last name at birth? The child lives with the mother. Father's financial support is insignificant. The father is against such change.

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Answer

According to Art. 58 of the Law of the Russian Federation “About Certificates of Civil Statutes” a person who reach the age of fourteen years is entitled to change his/her name including last name, first name and patronymic name. Change of the name shall be registered by a civil records office locate at the place of applicant's residence or at the place of birth registration of a person changing his/her name. Name of a minor child can be changed in case of agreement of his/her parents, adoptive parents or a guardian or on the basis of a court decision except for cases when a child obtains full legal capacity prior to reaching the legal age. Change of a name of a person who hasn't reached the age of fourteen shall be performed on the basis of Custody Agency’s resolution in accordance with the procedure established by Art. 59 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation. Change of name is subject to state registration by civil records authorities.

According to Art. 59 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation in case the child hasn't reached the age of fourteen a Custody Agency is entitled to allow a change of child's name at parents' joint request. In case child's parents do not live together and a parent with who the child lives decides to give the child his/her last name a Custody Agency shall consider this matter depending on child's interests and taking into account the other parent's opinion. Parent's opinion may not be taken into account in case such parent's residence is not known, such parent's parental rights were terminated, such parent was declared legally incapable and in case such parent avoids upbringing and supporting the child without due causes. Name of a child who reached the age of ten years can be changed only upon child's agreement.

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