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VIC How to Process Name Change for Son?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by AJ16, 28 September 2016.

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  1. AJ16

    AJ16 Member

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    My son is 10 years old. Throughout his life, his father has been very unstable (not mentally but that's questionable also).

    His father walked out of his life with no explanation over a year ago. My son wanted to change his last name but I needed his father's consent. I contacted my ex and explained what my son wanted to do. He requested to speak to him. I arranged a time for my son to call him and they had a great time on the phone together. He then decided he did not want to go ahead with the name change.

    My son got so excited about regaining a relationship with his father and I continued to call him so they could talk on a regular basis. His birthday was two weeks ago and we had not heard a thing from his father for the two weeks prior.

    On my son's birthday, he waited and waited for his dad to call or send a message, not a thing was received. This has left my son devastated. I am so angry that he has walked out of my son's life not once but twice!

    My son still wants his name changed. How would I go about changing it on my own? Do I need to get sole legal parental rights or can I just go before a judge to grant me the rights to change his name?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Three options:

    a) Consent from dad;
    b) A parenting order that allows a change of name; or
    c) Sole parental responsibility.

    The latter two options means going to Court - there's no avoiding it. If you go to Court, dad has to be involved - also no avoiding it. If dad is already opposed to the change of name, then he's probably going to oppose it at Court, which means the Court will have to determine the matter based on what it believes is in the best interests of the child. Generally speaking, proceedings for parenting matters can take years to determine, so this is really the hardest possible option available.

    The first option is your best bet, but if dad doesn't agree, you won't be able to get the child's name changed, so then you'll have to consider if it's worth taking it to Court or not.

    I'd suggest starting with mediation with dad. Contact Legal Aid or Relationships Australia to organise a family dispute resolution conference so you can pitch your case to the father and see if you can resolve the issue amicably, rather than through Court. If you can't reach agreement, then you can file for parenting orders through the Court.
     
    AJ16 likes this.

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