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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1100
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My partner has a daughter from a previous marriage. His ex

Customer Question

My partner has a daughter from a previous marriage. His ex is now getting married again and wants to change his daughters surname to double-barrel it with the new one. My partner has regular contact with his daughter, she comes over once during the week and stays for a couple of hours after school, has dinner etc and we also have her every weekend (normally Sat 4pm till Sun 4pm - therefore staying overnight). We also have her extended periods over holidays etc.
The ex has threatened to take this to court and get it changed and we were wondering what the likelihood would be of her being able to have his daughters name changed?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Hello
Welcome to Just Answer.
Thank you for your question.
If your partner has parental responsibility for his daughter ( if he is named in her birth certificate ) then his daughters surname cannot be changed without his consent.
If your partner doesn't provide his permission the the mother would have to make an application to the court for a Specific Issue Order in relation to the change of surname.
The courts do consider that a child's surname is ***** ***** heritage.
The mother is likely to argue that the child will feel more accepted if she has the same surname as her mum and new husband.
Double barrelling is a compromise of the two arguments.
If the mothers relationship with her new partner wasn't stable then the courts might not likely agree with the mother - but she is getting married so one would presume their relationship is stable. It would of course be confusing for the child if the relationship isn't stable and they were later divorced. Mother would like argue it is stable.
Kind Regards
Caroline
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for that.

He does have parental responsibility as he is named on the birth certificate. You've brought up some good points above which are worth considering. Do you know as a rough idea whether most cases brought to the courts go in the favour of the mothers wishes? His daughter is 7yrs old.

Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Hello
Each and every case is different and litigation is always a risk so there are no guarantees that a court will agree.
In these types of cases a Children and Family Officer ( also known as Cafcass ) has to prepare a report and make a recommendation - the Judge would have to have a good reason not to go with their recommendation.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Positive feedback is gratefully received.
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1100
Experience: Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
ukfamilysolicitor and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiMy name is ***** ***** colleague is correct and these matters are each dealt with on their merits in many cases CAFCASS are no longer involved in these issues - and in general terms the courts will not agree to a name change of any type unless sit represents the clearly expressed wishes of the childClare
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Hello
There is a recent case that confirmed that if in a contested case Cafcass did not report then the decision would be appealable:
W (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 735, the judge granted leave to appeal in a name change dispute case where a Cafcass officer had not been directed to speak to the parents and then provide an opinion on the welfare issues.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
It may assist you to read the case - which you can do herehttp://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed121142The case bears no resemblance to yours! However you may find paragraph 12 interesting!