SA Family Law - Changing Son's Surname Without Father's Signature?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by sonay, 12 April 2017.

  1. sonay

    sonay Well-Known Member

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    I have sole parental responsibility for my son. Can I changed his surname without the father's signature under family law?
     
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  2. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the State. Why do you want to change the child's surname? How old is the child? What impact will the change have? It is not my job to give you 'parenting advice' as you are entitled to decide what you think is right for your own children, but I will say, that name changes for children should be well thought through given name forms part of identity.

    You might like to have a browse of some other topics here of same.
     
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  3. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    From what I can see, from the SA Legal Services Commission handbook:

    You can apply to the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages for the change if you're the sole parent on the birth certificate.

    Otherwise, you either need consent from the father or an order from the court.

    If both parents don't agree to the change of name an application can be made to the Magistrates Court for an order. The Family Court won't make an order to actually change the child's name, but may make an order about what name the child is to be known by.

    A child who is able to understand the meaning and implications of the change must consent.
     
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  4. sonay

    sonay Well-Known Member

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    My son is 13 years old. I haven't changed my last since the divorce in 2007 only because I wanted my last name to be the same as my son's last name.

    I have 100% care of my son. My son wants his last name changed as well to my maiden name... The father chose not to be in his life for the past 7 years. I am in South Australia.
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Have a look here.
     
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  6. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    Hi sonay,

    So the link provided to the form seems fairly self explanatory but just in case there is any confusion.

    My understanding in South Australia is that to change the child's name, given there are 2 parents on the birth certificate, that you would still need to seek consent from the father and submit a joint application.

    Your son, at age 13, would also likely need to be interviewed to ascertain if he is mature enough to understand the consequences of a change of name (this step seems to be a South Australian thing?). If it is determined that he is mature enough (subjective and based on interviewers opinion), then he must also consent for the application to succeed. If it is determined that his maturity is not at a level to provide consent, you may still be able to change his name.

    If the father does not consent to the change of name, and will not sign the joint application, then you would need to apply to the Court. If this is the path you need to travel then you would be seeking an order that the Court directs Births, Deaths and Marriages to change the child's name to 'such and such name'.

    Good luck
     
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  7. sonay

    sonay Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the late reply but thank you for the information.


     
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