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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35574
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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My ex wants to change my childs surname

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My ex wants to change my childs surname
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My ex has said that I can either agree to this outside of court. Or go to court where the judge will ask my daughter (aged 6) what she wants to be called.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My ex is pushing my 6 year old to change her name to "Wright Lowe" from "Lowe"

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Pay maintance each month and see my child at least twice a week, including at least 1 night stay over
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
From my basic understanding i'm not sure how she could do this, but she says she has received legal advise on this and the judge will listen to what my daughter requests (she's 6 and spends most time with her mum, so has been pushed into this)

The Judge will do no such thing.

At 6 your daughter is too young for her wishes to have any relevance - and frankly it is rare indeed for a Judge to see a child in such cases at all.

Assuming that you are name on the Birth Certificate then the name cannot be changed without your agreement or a Court Order - and the Courts are very very reluctant to agree to any changes- especially when it is clear that all your ex will do is then drop the "Lowe"

The case law is set out here

e Re A, Re B (Change of Name) [1999] 3 FCR 337, [1999] 2 FLR 930 followed Dawson v Wearmouth and at [9] Butler Sloss LJ set out a list of factors which would be relevant to any determination of change of surname, including:

i) on any application the welfare of the child is paramount, and the judge must have regard to the section 1(3) criteria;

ii) among the factors to which the court should have regard is the registered surname of the child and the reasons for the registration, for instance recognition of the biological link with the child's father. Registration is always a relevant and an important consideration, but it is not in itself decisive;

iii) the relevant considerations should include factors which may arise in the future as well as the present situation;

iv) reasons given for changing or seeking to change a child's name based on the fact that the child's name is ***** ***** not the same as the parent making the application do not generally carry much weight;

v) the reasons for an earlier unilateral decision to change a child's name may be relevant;

vi) any changes of circumstances of the child since the original registration may be relevant;

vii) in the case of a child whose parents were married to each other, the fact of the marriage is important; there would have to be strong reasons to change the name from the father's surname if the child was so registered;

viii) where the child's parents were not married to each other, the mother has control over registration. Consequently, on an application to change the surname of the child, the degree of commitment of the father to the child, the quality of contact, if it occurs, between father and child, the existence or absence of parental responsibility

On the basis of that there is little chance that your ex will be successful and the approach she has taken means she cannot expect you to be willing to negotiate

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Many thanks. Looks like I should have nothing to worry about. Very upsetting my ex is dragging my 6 year old child into this.