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NSW Ex Won't Allow Name Change - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by jaksprat, 3 August 2015.

  1. jaksprat

    jaksprat Member

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    For the past 4 years, I've had 100% custody of children, aged 4 and 6. No family court orders. Ex walked out of mediation. He sees children every few months and lives within 2 km. He will not allow a surname change to mine. I would therefore like to add my surname to their current name, i.e. double barrel. He will also not allow this.

    My legal question is: can we do this? What is the process for a name change please?

    Thanks.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    When you say you have 100% custody of the children, this is only half true. The kids may spend the majority of their time in your care, but in terms of major long-term decisions, you share equal parental responsibility with the father, which means there are no options for amending the children's name without his consent, or by order of the court.

    The first step is organising a family dispute resolution conference to try and reach agreement with the other parent about this matter. If agreement can't be reached, then you will be issued a s60I certificate, which will enable you to pursue parenting orders through the court.

    The Family Law Act 1975 stipulates that all parenting orders (which also includes changes of name) must be made in the best interests of the child, which is guided by section 60CC of the Family Law Act, but there is a sort of 'added list' of considerations when it comes to changing a child's name. These include (but are not limited to) the effect on the child of the name being changed, any embarrassment they might feel about having a different surname to other members in their family, and the impact of the name change on the child's relationship with the other parent.

    In any case, you must first attempt family dispute resolution with the father before court proceedings can be pursued. I hope this helps.
     
  3. jaksprat

    jaksprat Member

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    Thank you. He walked out of mediation 7 months ago. I guess I should now return and request s601. Thanks again
     
  4. Heatherjt

    Heatherjt Member

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    What happens if the father refuses any family dispute resolution/ mediation?
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Then the mediator will issue you with a s60I certificate that shows you tried to reach agreement and the other party did not. This doesn't have a great deal of weight in proceedings, but it may prompt the court to order both parties back to mediation anyway.

    Hope this helps.
     

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