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Hi, I’m Lea and I will be assisting you with your query today.
How old is the child? Does he have any contact with the father: I appreciate he is in prison, but the question relates more to whether he will have contact in the future? Were you married at the time of the child's birth?
The following is useful info to assist you with the site:
If the father won't consent to the change of name, then you will need to apply to court for a specific issues order to change it. So to answer your question, in spite of the father's offences, yes you still need his consent (or an order from court).
In my view, given the circumstances, the court may well agree to the change. It isn't guaranteed though as courts tend to look on the name a child is given at birth as being the one they should retain unless the welfare of the child would be better if it was changed. I think you have a strong argument that the welfare of the child would be better served if he didn't carry a paedophile's surname.
You can apply for the change on form C100. Cost is £215, unless you are on a low income/benefits in which case you may be eligible for fee remission.
I would suggest you apply for the order now as it can take some time for the court to process these things with potentially at least two or three hearings before they make a final decision. You'd want the name changed before your son starts school.
You're very welcome.
I hope it all goes well for you and your son.