I. Parents' right to change their child's last name
According to point a, clause 1, Article 27 of the 2015 Civil Code, biological parents have the right to change the last name for their child from the father’s last name to the mother’s last name or vice versa:
“Individuals have the right to request the competent state authority to recognize the change of surname in the following cases:
a) Change of last name for the biological child from the father’s last name to the mother’s last name or vice versa;
However, after divorce, either the father or mother may be granted custody of the child and may therefore desire to change the child’s last name to their own. In this case, the unilateral change of the child’s last name is a practical necessity, and whether this can be done or not will be addressed as follows.
II. Is it possible to unilaterally request a change of surname for the child?
According to Clause 1, Article 7 of Decree 123/2015/ND-CP guiding the Law on Civil Status:
“Changing the last name, middle name, or first name for individuals under 18 years old, as stipulated in Article 1 of Article 26 of the Citizenship Law, requires the consent of the parents, which must be clearly expressed in the Declaration; for individuals aged 9 and above, their consent is also necessary.”
Therefore, if the child is under 18 years old, the parents need to reach an agreement on the name change, which must be clearly stated in the declaration. For individuals aged 9 and above, their consent is also required.
Even after divorce and the completion of marital obligations, including property division, the responsibilities of parents towards their children still exist. Therefore, when wanting to change a personal matter for a child, especially their name, the consent of both the father and mother is required, and it may also involve the child if they are of a legal age as prescribed by law.
As a result, a parent cannot unilaterally change the child’s name without the consent of the other parent and, if applicable, the child’s consent.
III. The procedure for changing the last name for a child
In accordance with Article 28 of the Law on Civil Status, the procedure for changing the last name for a child will be carried out as follows:
Step 1: Submit a declaration in the prescribed form and related documents to the citizenship authority.
Step 2: Receive the result
Within a period of 3 working days from the date of receiving all the required documents as stipulated in paragraph 1 of this Article, if it is found that the change or correction of citizenship is justified, in accordance with the provisions of civil law and related laws, the judicial officer – citizenship official shall record it in the Citizenship Register. They will also sign the Citizenship Register along with the applicant and submit a summary report to the Chairman of the People’s Committee at the commune level for the applicant.
In cases requiring verification, the time limit may be extended for no more than 3 additional working days.
To save time on researching procedures, filling out forms, notarizing, and waiting to submit documents, you can contact HT for consultation and assistance with child matters after divorce
Contact us at:
Phone: +84 935 439 454.