How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
13262538
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

I want to change my childs surname to my married name, but

Resolved Question:

I want to change my childs surname to my married name, but biological father will not consent. However on the birth certificate my son took my name not biological fathers surname? His date of birth is 2004? Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What contact does the child have with his father?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No contact since 16 months old, no Christmas or birthday cards. I am thinking why would I need his consent if my son never took his name on the birth certificate?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Is the father named on the Birth Certificate?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Did the father give a reason for the refusal?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not really, I think he was being awkward


my son does not remember his biological father and regards XXXXX XXXXX as his Dad!

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that the law on this point is very clear
In order to change the name of the child all people with Parental Responsibility must Consent or there must be an Order from the Court
If the father will not agree then your only option is to apply to the court.
Whilst usually I would not be hopeful in this case there is a reasonable chance of success
This is because the child does not currently have his father's name; there is no contact and I assume it is what the child himself wants
If you do need to apply it would be sensible to also seek a Step Parental Responsibility Order for your husband at the same time
Before making the Court application you should try and discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. My son does not know what we are trying to do as he is 9years old. He just wants the same surname as his sister. I just want to get it straight in my head, that although he never took his fathers name on birth certificate and has no contact with his bio father, I can't change his name unless I apply to court? would his biological father have to be informed, or have a right to appeal?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Yes I am afraid that that is correct - and yes his father will have to be told about the application and will have the right to oppose it
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would my son need to know what was going on? I obviously feel very protective of him! Will this change the reasonable chance in court?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
One of your strongest arguments is that this is what your son wants - but if you do not wish to involve him you do not need to do so
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Will this alter chance in court, for or against? My son is happy with my husband who he calls Dad!

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

Hi

He does know the real position doesn't he?

Clare

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He can't remember his biological Dad, and has grown up with my new husband who he calls dad. At present he knows nothing else.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
For clarity - he does NOT know that his Dad is not his biological father?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

that's correct at present.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Then I would suggest if you do not wish him to be aware of the true situation you leave matters well alone.
If you apply to the Court then you will have to speak to CAFCASS and it is very likely that the court will insist that the child is told the truth about his parentage
Clare
Clare and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you