Hoping for some advice from those that know
My husband is due back in court in a couple of months as his ex wants changes to the agreement made previously.
She has made our lives a misery these last 5 years, a nasty woman who seems to forget that the reason for trying to resolve access, money etc is for the children's benefit (they are now 8 and 10)and her main aim in life (since she re-married) is to cause my husband as much pain as possible.
We have the children fortnightly, and were informed by the children (and their homework books they brought with them!) that their surnames have been changed (without a word to my husband). Surely this is not allowed, even the school have allowed it, my husband wasn't even made aware. He just has to live with the fact that his children's names have been changed (one blessing is that it has changed to double-barrelled, but this is a principle thing and my husband is heartbroken, especially as their new name comes from a man that has behaved appallingly towards my husband from the day he turned up. We(ex-wife, my husband & myself) all used to get on fine, everything used to be sorted out between ourselves, including money - she got everything from the divorce for the sake of the children. But since she married again, everything has been terrible. It is so hard to imagine what the kids must think, the step-dad verbally abuses my husband in front of them. Poor little things. I am very depressed over the situation, so is my husband, and just feel that the court may say \"oh well, they have both names, so lets leave it as it is\".....what do you think? fingers crossed.x (sorry it's such an essay!)
Just to expand on the post above. If a residence order is in force, no one can change the child’s surname without the written consent of every person who has parental responsibility for the child, or with leave of the court. Where there is no residence order in force then there are no restrictions.
A parent with parental responsibility who opposes the proposed change of name would need to apply to court for a prohibited steps order or a specific issue order that the name not be changed.
I have been through EXACTLY what you have, i did post on here my diary of events but i cant find it now although there is a small post when i touched on it briefly.
My ex wife, changed our daughters name from mine to her and mine (double barrel), like you say, no big deal to most people BUT i had been told on very good authority that she was intending to drop my name once she won the court case.
I had fantastic support from Divorce Lawyer and others on here. I spent £175 and took her to court and won!!!- we both had to put statemnents in as t why she wanted the name change and i had to do one as to why i didnt want the change
My daughter was 4 at the time and there is a fantastic case law Dawson v Wearmouth that i used and in your case i think it would be great for using (if you go down that route) as one of the big deciding factors for the court was - if a child is familiar with a name and then it changes, it will cause the child to be confused or distressed- all the courts care about is the welfare of the child, and apart from that, what she has done IT IS ILLEGAL
Not sure i can help you much more
Good Luck, i will try and find my post and send it to you
just to clrify, it is not corerct that there are no restictions where there is no residence order in place. Whether or not there is an order, any formal change of name requires the consent of every person who has parental responsibility for the child. If Espana's husband was married, he will automatically have PR for his children.
The difficulty is that this applies to a formal name change - e.g. changes on passports etc. An informal change is slightly different.
Either way, it isn't appropriate and court's are geerally reluctant to allow changes unless they feel it is in the children's interests. A change to a double-barrelled name may be considered in their interests in some circumstances, most obviously is the mother has another child or children and the children themselves want to share a name with their (half)siblings.
It may also be considered in their interests to allow the cahnge to stand if it has become established so if you do wish to challenge it you should do so sooner rather than later.
Do bear in mind though that the issue is that of what is in the children's best interests - I understand that your husband will feel it is a metter of pricipal but depending on the ages of the childrne it is worth considering their views as well. If there mum has remarried and taken her new husband' name, they may want to share her name as well as their dad's.
So, in short, their mum is in the wrong legally, but don't rush into something until you have considered the children's feeligns and views as well as your husband's!
I am always interested in this topic of name change. I have two children aged 11 and 15. They both have their father's name (which is different from each other), as do I (I never changed my name when I married). They both at times expressed a wish to change their name to mine, but I persuaded them not to. The name I gave them at birth was the name I wanted them to have and reflected who their fathers were. It is part of their heritage. They will always know who I am and what my name is. I am pleased to say they are both proud of their surnames now. You cannot change who your child's father is, so why change their name later on. I realise their are some exceptional circumstances to this like child protection issues, but on the whole I think it is a \"heat of the moment\" situation following separation or divorce. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is easy, but if you suggest you want to change your child's name, are you saying something like your father or mother is not good enough so I don't want you to have their name? What does that say to your child? Just my thoughts.