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NSW Family Law - How to Get a Name Change for Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Chloe15, 5 April 2016.

  1. Chloe15

    Chloe15 Member

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    I am wanting some help on how I go about changing my children's surnames or my husband (children's step father) adopting them.

    Their biological father left their lives when my youngest was 5 months old. She is now 6 and her sister is 10. He has never ever attempted contact in that time. As I am now married and the girls now have a half-sister, I am wanting to change their last names to my married name.

    I am under the assumption that I will need his permission to do so, is this correct.? My youngest (6 years old) believes her step is her biological father as we got together just after she was 1, so she knows no different yet where as her 10-year-old sister knows about her biological father yet still classes her step-father as her dad.

    I have no idea where their biological father is, including his phone number, where he lives, etc. What steps in Family Law should I take to achieve a name change?

    We would all like to officially be a family (same last names). Any help would be great :)
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You will need the father's permission to change their names. Speak to Relationships Australia about mediation. They will do the legwork of contacting the father on your behalf.
     
  3. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would be worried such action might attract his attention, get him thinking, and stir him into action to start seeking some custody!

    Possibly that's a good thing I don't know? But if it's not something you want, I would drop the name change idea quick smart.
     
  4. Chloe15

    Chloe15 Member

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    My thoughts exactly Clancy. I am worried that any actions I take will stir him into some sort of custody action. Should I just go for full custody? I am so unsure on what actions I should take. I just want my family complete . Having the same last names is something my eldest daughter has longed for, for the last 2 years. I have always been worried about the process and I am suspecting my fears are becoming reality
     
  5. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    Well, the professional advice is usually to recommend some form of custody with the father will be beneficial for the children unless there is a history of domestic violence, etc, etc.

    So if we trust the experts, perhaps if you seek to change their name, no matter what happens, it is sure to be a better outcome for the kids either way if he seeks custody or allows the name change? Perhaps discuss the possibilities with a Councillor?
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    While it might be nice to have the same names and for hubby to be their legal guardian. Is it worth the grief / stress? IMO - hell no...

    You're gonna need to contact the dad. If he refuses, you'll have to go to court and if the dad resists, you'll lose. Even if you get sole parental responsibility (which is a legal term) for what you have already, the dad will still have to pay child support (if he is) and if he isn't, the court stuff could cause him to have to pay child support - So no motivation for him. So don't rock the boat...

    That said - stuff like getting passports is gonna be hard because you need the dad's signature or the court to get the passport. So if an OS holiday is foreseeable for you and the kids before they turn 18 - then speaking to a solicitor might be worth while...
     

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