Can I change my child’s name after separation?

There are various reasons why you may wish to change the name of your child. The experienced team and Loukas Law can assist you in navigating this process.

In the below circumstances, changing your child’s name can be a relatively straightforward process:

  1. If there is only one parent included on the child’s birth certificate; or
  2. If one parent has family court orders providing them with sole parental responsibility or allowing them to change their child’s name; or
  3. If both parents’ names are included on the child’s birth certificate and both parents consent to the name change.

Generally speaking, parent(s) of a child under the age of 18 and born in Western Australia can apply to the WA Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages to change their child’s name. If your child was born overseas, you can still follow the above process if your child is an Australian citizen or permanent resident who has lived in Western Australia continuously for 12 months before the application for a name change has been made.

If the other parent does not agree to change the child’s name, you can make an application to the Family Court of WA for an order allowing your child’s name to be changed.

When the Court considers an application to change a child’s name, either surname or given name, they will consider if it is in the child’s best interests for the name change to occur and will take into consideration many factors. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The reason for wanting to change your child’s name;
  • The suitability of the proposed change;
  • The effects, both short and long term, of any change;
  • Any confusion, embarrassment, or identity issues that could be experienced by the child if the name remains the same or changes;
  • If the proposed change would have an impact, and if so the extent of that impact, on their relationship with the other parents and extended family;
  • The child’s relationship with the other parent, including their involvement with the child and the amount of time the child has spent and will spend with the other parent; and/or
  • Any views or wishes expressed by the child about the name change.

It is important to remember that each person’s circumstances are different, and it is important you obtain the appropriate legal advice which applies to your situation.

If you are considering seeking orders to facilitate changing your child’s name, or if the other parent is seeking to change your child’s name and you do not consent, please contact our offices at (08) 6381 0208 or fill out our form about your situation.

Posted in: Child Support  Family Law  The Children