Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Child Custody Rights : What’s in a name – depends whose it is

Posted 31. May. 3 min read.


A recent case before the Personal Injury Court considered matters in relation to what time, if any, a child should spend with her father, whether she should be permitted to change her surname to that of her mother’s and whether the mother should be permitted to obtain a passport for her without first obtaining the father’s consent.

The father and mother had commenced cohabitation in 1998 and separated in 2002. There were proceedings in the court in 2005 and 2007. In 2006 the father was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for drug possession and possession of an unregistered firearm.

It was common ground that the father had not spent any time with the father since Easter 2007. In August 2007 the father was remanded in custody for a serious criminal offence. In June 2009 the father was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 17 years.

In September 2009 court orders were made that the mother have sole parental responsibility for the child and that the child live with the mother. It was further ordered that the father not spend any time with the child nor contact or communicate with her. In November 2012 further orders were made for the child to be advised of her father’s circumstances, including his imprisonment.

The mother sought an order that would enable the child’s surname to be changed to her surname. As the daughter was aware of the father’s conviction she said she did not want to carry his surname and said “I just don’t want to be known as the girl whose father committed that offense.” The Judge agreed to the change.

The order was also made to allow the mother to obtain a passport for the child without the father’s signature.

The firm Stubbs and Partners is a specialised Personal Injury Law firm located in Melbourne, Geelong and Werribee, Victoria. The firm Stubbs and Partners act in Personal Injury Law matters involving; Work injuries, ComCare, Public liability claims, Transport accidents, Medical negligence, Asbestos claims. More information can be found on our website for Personal Injury Law matters. Location directions can be found on our site.


This article remains the property of The firm Stubbs and Partners and can only provide basic information and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. This information cannot be relied on as a substitute for legal information and it is only general by nature. This information was generally correct at the time of writing but changes in legislation or procedure may change.

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