Father In Name Only….But Which Name?

A recent case before the Family Court concerned three children aged 12, 15 and 16 and the question of with whom they should live and where. Questions were also raised concerning the allocation of names to the children.

The parenting proceedings have been through the ligation system for a number of years. The applicant and the respondent in the case both appeared without legal representation which caused some difficulties. The father has had nothing to do with the children for almost four years.

In the midst of the cross-examination, the father broke down and agreed that there was a question that had to be faced and that was how the children could be forced to do something they would not want to do, especially with regards to the ages of two of the children. The father then came to the decision that he wanted to stop the proceedings leaving the mother with sole parental responsibility for the children. There was to be no face to face contact between the father and the children and contact would be limited to letters, cards, and presents. The question of where the mother wanted to live was also left to her to decide.

The three children’s names had been recorded on the Victorian Register as B. Jacsic, C. Jacsic and D. Jacsic, however, the children and the mother knew them by their mother’s name which was considered reasonable considering they had had no contact with the father for four years. The Judge ruled that the court did not the power to direct the Registrar to alter the names and in fact, there had been no error in recording the names, but rather a dispute between the parties. The mother wanted to have passports issued for the children in her name, however, the Judge ruled that that decision would be made by the Minister issuing the passports.


This article remains the property of Kate Austin Family Lawyers and can only provide basic information.  It 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 correct at the time of writing but changes in legislation or procedure may change.

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