I want to change my child’s surname

First and foremost – this is normally a bad idea.

Yes you can change a child’s name – this is done at the NSW Registry of Birth, Deaths, and Marriages. A child over the age of 12 must consent to their change of name. Both parents must also consent to the name change.

If there is no consent, then you would have to make an application to the Family Court. The Family Court however, is usually loathe to make such an order – most of the time it isn’t in the best interests of the child.

Some of the things the Family Court considers:

  1. How long has the child had that name?
  2. Will the child be confused or be embarassed by the name change?
  3. Do both parents have a good relationship with the child?

As mentioned the Family Court is unlikely to make such orders – that being said, if this is important to your child, they can change their name without anyone’s consent when they become 18.

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