VIC Name Change for Child Without Father's Consent?

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28 January 2015
Hello, just a quick question regarding changing surname.

12 year old children want to change their name. We have no contact with their father (last contact was email from him in April 2014 threatening us if we contacted him). Legally changing name is proving too much of an ordeal for both children. Are they able to use an alias (i.e. my surname) until they can legally change their surname without needing to contact their father?

If so, what are the ramifications in family law and how do we/I go about the name change?

Thanks in advance.


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
A lot of families with an absent parent use an alias for their children and it is not illegal to do so, but of course, there can be complications when it comes to passports, bank accounts and other things that require proof of identification. I believe you can request from the child's school that he be called by an alias, but for the more 'official' things, it can be difficult to wrangle.

You can apply to the court to have the child's name changed as part of a parenting order, but you will need to make efforts to negotiate an outcome with the father first. The best way to do this with a hostile parent is to apply to Legal Aid, which will organise a family dispute resolution conference and contact your ex on your behalf. If the father doesn't respond and doesn't show up, then you will be issued a certificate that enables you to commence proceedings in court. Legal Aid may represent you for this, as well.

Seek legal advice when you speak to Legal Aid for this matter.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria


2 April 2018
My ex is trying to get me to change my daughters surname to hers.We have been divorced for nearly 4 years now and this has never come up in conversation ever.I have been part of their lives {2 kids my daughter who is almost 12 and a stepdaughter who was almost 7 when we married in 2005} since the divorce helping out with everything around the house from shopping to cutting wood.I love my daughter very much and actually moved house to be closer to her,3 streets away in fact.I work long hours 7 days a week and was on call with one of my jobs and lived close to two of them.I have tried to give her everything,as well as my stepdaughter always 50/50.All of that changed last august for reasons that i still do not know and i have not spoken to my daughter,my ex or my stepdaughter since then,even though i was only 3 streets away,did not even do xmas with them.I got a text message the other day sting that your daughter wants to change her surname just send me a copy of your licence and medicare card and see you later.I still want to be part of my daughters life and want to have a say in decisions affecting her future,how can i make sure that this is just a simple name change not anything more when no one will even talk to me....can she take my daughter away from me just like that?I also pay my child support every week on time.


Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
Hi Timbo,
mate much better to start your own thread and explain the situation.
So you had 50/50 care, then in August last year NOTHING?
First job, call relationships Australia and ask for mediation, it is free, or nearly free. That is a good start.
Refuse to discuss the name change.
If anything - just tell the ex that you have started the process for mediation and you would like to resume the care arrangements that existed before August...

but start your own thread here and you'll get more responses.

Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
My ex is trying to get me to change my daughters surname to hers.
Do not agree to this.
And get Parenting Orders.