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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    5

    Default Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    My question involves name change laws in the State of: Minnesota/Australia

    My daughter is 13 months old. She was born in Australia and has an Australian birth certificate but dual citizenship (I'm American, her dad/my ex-husband is Australian). She has a US passport and social security card, as well as an Australian passport plus her Australian birth certificate.

    I have sole physical custody of her and have moved back to Minnesota. Her father pays minimal child support and has minimal contact with us. We lodged all papers with the Australian courts re custody/seperation, and the divorce will be final in February.

    With all that background information... here is my actual question... I would like to change my daughters last name to my maiden name (I will be changing mine back once divorce goes through) and am wondering how/where to do that? Do I have to do it via Australian courts because of her birth certificate? And then change the US stuff once its changed in Australia? Or can I go the other way around?

    I realize no matter what, I'll have to try to get her fathers permission, I am just not sure the order to go about things.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    28,650

    Default Re: Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    You can go through the name change process in a state where the child is legally domiciled, but to change the birth certificate you would have to comply with Australian laws. This is a U.S. forum, and thus we're not in a position to tell you the steps you would take to have Australia recognize a U.S. name change order or how you would give effect to a name change if they decline to accept the order. I am skeptical that Australia will directly entertain a name change petition for a non-resident, but again that's something to figure out in consultation with an Australian lawyer or to ask about on an Australian legal site.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    5

    Default Re: Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    I realize this is a US forum... and my daughter and I LIVE in the US, which is why I am asking it on here. I guess I should have been clearer... in order to legally change a minors name in the USA, does the birth certificate have to be changed too?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,079

    Default Re: Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    That's one of the things that happens when you get a name change, yes. Your birth certificate is amended after your change of name is granted. For that portion, you need to speak with Australian counsel. Changing the name of a dual national is always a sticky proposition.

    Also keep in mind that if your ex husband contests the change of name, it won't happen unless you can prove to the court's satisfaction that it is in your daughter's best interests to have her name changed. At her age, it's going to be a hard argument to make, because names tend not to cause 13 month-olds any distress, even if the same cannot be said for their mothers.

    You're looking down the mouth of a big Legal Fee Monster here, so you might want to discuss this with your ex BEFORE you set the process in motion, or you'll be out hefty fees in two countries, and all for naught.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    so if I get her Australian Birth Certificate changed (with her fathers permission), I shouldn't have too much trouble changing things over here (ie passport, ss card, etc)? Or will I need her dad's permission for each change? THanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    74,906

    Default Re: Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    As you seem to have missed it the first time,
    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    This is a U.S. forum, and thus we're not in a position to tell you the steps you would take to have Australia recognize a U.S. name change order or how you would give effect to a name change if they decline to accept the order.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    Wow. There is no need to be a jerk about my questions Mr. Knowitall! I haven't missed anything... though YOU seem to have missed, that I am asking about changing names OVER HERE (IN THE USA)... on this U.S. FORUM. I get it.

    Thank you to those who have been helpful and not rude.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,079

    Default Re: Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    You seem to have missed Mr.K's notation that it is unlikely that the Aussies will entertain a petition to change the name of a non-resident. You have to present them with damned good reason to do so, and "I don't want my daughter to have her father's name" is insufficient both here AND there.

    You also seem to keep getting the order of things backwards. You have to be granted the change of name petition here first, before you can even consider petitioning in Oz to change the child's birth certificate - and even if it's granted here, there's no way for us to tell if Australian authorities will grant the name change there, even if your ex-husband consents. (For that matter, your ex-husband consenting is no guarantee the petition will be granted here, either. It's just not that simple.)

    From where I sit, you're tilting at a particularly stubborn windmill, Madame Quixote.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Minor's Name Change, Australian Birth Certificate

    wow. i have no idea how this thread has become so hostile towards me! i have just posed a question as i am NOT a lawyer myself, which needs to be done first... a change on her birth certificate of the country she was born in or a legal change in the country she is currently living in? simple. i AM admitting that i don't know which way to go about this- which step to take first.... so how can i be going about it all wrong ALREADY?!?!

    i am so sorry i ever came in here... unlike any forum of any kind i've ever sought advice on before... be kind people... i just had an innocent question and am now leaving here very offended.

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