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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34908
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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Hi I would like to change my daughters given name but the father

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Hi I would like to change my daughters given name but the father will oppose it.
My history:
My husband lost his job when the child was 2 years old he kicked both of us out and did not maintain his contact with child for about 2 years. Meanwhile when he did not came to see child I started calling my child with a different given name. My husband has imposed the official name of child on me he was extremely controlling nature and made me sign the documents on the threat of ending relationship etc.
My daughter has been called by her new given name in all the schools but now my ex is forcing schools to force child to write her official name in school books. He even asked judge to make a court order that child will only be called by her official name everywher or write her official name on even unofficial documents. But judge declined and said I will not pass any such order and will interview child (she is 8 years old) about this. The court only made an order that child's official name to be used in legal documents.
My ex maintains his regular contact with child but has made Nil financial contribution towards child. Her first name is ***** ***** him her middle name is ***** ***** first name and her surname is ***** ***** fathers family name. So I ask what are my rights? and what about the rights of my girl?
She wants her official name to be changed and is happy to go to court to express her views about it.
In this whole world only my ex who is a visiting parent calls her with her official name rest of the people her teachers, friends, aunt other family members call her with the name given by me.
Please tell me if I file a case what are the chances of winning?
Will court consider child's extreme likeness with the name? (In fact one faith school forced her official name on her and she used to cry a lot so I changed the school)
Which form I have to fill and do I have to go for mediation?
For 6 long years child is called by her new name and now father (Who is unemployed has made nil financial contribution towards child since she is born) is imposing her official name on her please tell me honestly my chances on winning the case.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When was the last court hearing regarding her name?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It was in mid July 2014. It was not specifically name issue case but he addee name issue with contact issues. At that time I did not requested court to change her given name legally. But since he has started political games in childs school & is forcing teachers to write her given name everywhere so I now decided to change her name because I don want to see my daughter getting sad.
Are those proceedings now over?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes i won the relocation and name case as well. He wanted to force court to make an order where everybody call child with given name and to write that on unofficial documents but court declined.
Where are you relocating to?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I was relocated to Luton from London I discussed my case with you and won it with your advice.
Ah yes I recall the matter now.
May I ask why you did not make this application when the name issue arose?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Because I did not wanted to get involved into longer disputes n thought he won't start politics in schools. But now he is making life difficult so I thought its better to request court to change name so that my child wont suffer emotionally.
What has he actually done that has made you feel this way?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He says in all schools that mother poisons child against her official name. He ask them to make child use his official name in all the books and homework etc. He says child gets confuse. Please note judge rejected all his objections and said that child will decide this childs previous school also supported child views. But her new school is trying to play some dirty politics a staff member is trying to impose childs official name on her this resulted in big dispute between me and that member because she illtreated me under the influence of my ex. Now I have lodged a complaint against her and this issue is being raised at higher level.
My ex is going against court & making my life and child's life hell.
Do you think I have any case? Will judge allow me to change the name on the basis that child wants her official name to be changed?
Have you discussed the matter with the Head Teacher of the school?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have made a complaint and demanding written apology from school because they humiliated me and tried to impose official name on my child after meeting my ex (important point is that before meeting my ex school staff has no issues with her unofficial name being written on books or elsewhere it changed after my ex's entrance in school). I will be meeting with head teacher to discuss this issue she has replied to my email and told that she is investigating the issue.

Please tell me how to make a case. Isn't it enough that since 2 years of age the child is being known by that name and everyone in her life call her with her new name all schools except faith school (where she studied for 2 months) call her with the name child likes.

Do you think these points will be enough:

child being known by new name since 2 yrs now she is 8 yrs

child personally likes her new name and gets upset about old name

second name and surname is ***** ***** then where as a mother I stand?

He imposed the name on me proof is that he is forcing everyone to call child with the name chosen by him. He doesn't care about child;s emotional well being and ignore the fact that child likes her new


My main question is can't I change a given name that was imposed on me?

I am not changing middle or surname which is identity of father.

I provide everything to child and father has never made any financial contributions towards child.

He goes to every school and try to force staff to call child by her official name and not by the name which child prefers.

What sort of proofs does court require to get convinced that name change is in child's welfare?

I don't think it's in child's welfare not to change a name

You need to apply to the court for a Specific Order on a form C100 paying the fee of £215
I would suggest that you ask to add the chosen name as a first name, keeping the rest of her name as well
So if she is currently ***** ***** Smith but likes to be called Sue then the new name would be Sue ***** ***** Smith.
You explain to the court that the actions of her father trying to force the use of the name for all school purposes is causing the child distress and that this is a way of resolving the issue in a positive way which keeps her full identity clear
Simply say that she has been known by this name since she was two and that this happened because of your reaction to his controlling behaviour.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi thanks for your guidance this sounds as a reasonable advice. One more thing will I have to do mediation first? How many sittings will I have to do? How long you thing this whole legal case will take? Will it take 3-4 months or less?

You should at least attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Appointment - however given the history it is unlikely that mediation will be effective
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you