Normally, if you are under 16 you need your parents’ agreement for major decisions such as changing your name or changing or staying at a particular school.
What if I don’t agree with my parents?
In law, the decisions that your parents make about you should always be in your best interests. If you have the maturity and understanding then your wishes and feelings should be taken into account when your parents make decisions.
If you disagree with your parents about a major decision affecting you then it is possible to go to court to get permission to do something or to stop your parents from doing something. The court will make a decision about what is in your best interests.
What sort of things could I apply to court for permission for?
- You want to change your name but one or both of your parents do not agree
- You want to go out of the UK but one or both of your parents do not agree.
In these cases, the relevant court order to apply for would be a Specific Issue Order.
What sort of things can I apply to court to stop happening?
- Your parent wants to move to another part of the UK and you do not want to
- Your parent wants to take you out of the UK and you do not want to go
- Your parent wants to change your school and you do not want to
- Your parent wants you to follow a religion and you do not want to
- Your parent wants to change your name and you do not want to.
In these cases, the relevant order to apply for would be a prohibited steps order.
It is rare to go to court for these matters, but it is possible. If you think you might need to go to court you should get legal advice from a solicitor to help you and may be able to get legal aid. You can contact us using our contact form for more information.