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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I would appreciate any of your advice regarding an application

Customer Question

Hello, I would appreciate any of your advice regarding an application for court order for a child's surname change.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Could you explain a little more about the problem please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, thank you for your responce.
Here is the situation:

My son: 10 yrs old, British passport (mixed with Japanese & British)
Myself (mother): Japanese, UK residence
Father: British
My ex and myself were not married when separated and we both have a 'shared residence order' for our son's care.

Currently my son has his father's surname, and I would like to add mine to it, to read like Feetenby-Uenishi.

However his father does not agree and not provide me his consent.
My son finds no problems with his name change. And I am considering to hire a solicitor to go for the court order to be granted.

Reasons on my end behind of this name change request are:

- To print my name on his passport - this will make both my son and myself feel easier when going through UK border as we have different names. (I always bring his birth certificate as a proof as his mother).
We travel abroad at least 2-3 times a year.
- To make inheritage process easier (for proving the proof of the relationship with my family and my son) when dealing with banks in Japan.
- My son and I often go to Japan to visit my side of families - and would like to ensure that he is aware of his Japanese background which is also my parents' wish.
- My son's passport will be expired this November and I would like to update his with this joint surname printed on his new passport.

I think I thoroughly read about what the conditions and what to consider for the child's surname change - and I would like to gather a little more information wherever possible before taking action:

- if my challenge is worth trying at court to acquire the order
- how long it normally takes on the procedure
- how much is the normal cost of the whole process

I understand it all varies depending on individual basis, but any of your quick view will be appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance!
Junko Uenishi

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Would you be willing to have your name as a middle name instead?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

My son has a middle name - his full name is read:

Lei Alan Feetenby

I am not sure if
Lei Alan Uenishi Feetenby sounds fine?
Is the compromise as 'middle name' easier for the process to be accepted?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

In my view, the answer for 'as a middle name instead' is basically no - I am not willing to have his surname this way. (-:

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry but in it i snot easy to convince a court to agree to a change of name for a child if the other parent does not agree.
There have to be very strong arguments to even achieve a double-barrel effect such as you are suggesting and none of the reasons that you have given are likely to be seen as convincing enough.
All reasons that you give could all be dealt with be including your name as one of his middle names - something that you say that you do not want
If nonetheless you wish to go ahead then you will first need to attend a Mediation Information and Appointment Meeting with a local Family Mediator.
Once that is out of the way you can make the applictaion.
It is likely to take about three months and as for costs you should budget for a figure between £1000 and £2000
You can read more here
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thank you very much for your answer. Certainly, I will look into the case more carefully taking it into consideration of a local Family Mediator.
Your guidance and guideline of the cost and duration were helpful.

Kind Regards,
Junko Uenishi

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
You are most welcome - and attending the mediation is mandatory I am afraid