Ex wants to apply for a deed poll
My ex contacted me recently asking me to write a letter agreeing to change my sons last name to her last name instead of mine, I asked her if she would be willing to just add her name on but she refused stating it's coming from him and it's what he wants.
I personally would like him to have my last name at least included in his name but if it is genuinely coming from him I am happy for him to change the name, however he is 9 years old and I don't get on well with the ex and dont trust that this is coming from him.
I live in a different country and visit for a week once a month although covid complicated things so I haven't been able to see him for a few months now, we would play on xbox once a week to catch up and stay in contact with a phone call now and then as well. However he currently isn't speaking to me since he got banned from playing his xbox and blames me so my only point of contact is through her and I believe she is trying to take advantage of the situation.
I'm thinking of not agreeing to the name change as she has already stated she will take it in front of a judge if need be, would the judge speak to my son privately to see what he actually want's if it gets that far? also would this financially cost me anything even if I dont seek legal counsel?
I'm sure we have all considered what we would do in this situation.. My view is to let her take it to court, worse case she will be allowed to double barrel it. Whilst a judge may want to speak to son, he's a little young to have too much influence at 9 years of age. Due to the xbox issue your ex may well be using this as an opportunity to push a name change.. By the time it comes up in court your son may have changed mind etc..
If you have a vindictive ex then name change is a step to alienate and remove association to you/fathers.. My worse case scenario is double barrel and if the ex rejects this then you can say at court you have been reasonable etc and suggest that once child is 16 or 18 they can then change name to whatever they want.. Unless there are allegations of abuse which have been proven it is unlikely a judge will allow a total name change to your exes.
All the best.
If you don't agree, the only way she can proceed is to make an application to court for a Specific Issue Order. Name changes are very rarely granted in my experience and it's extremely unlikely the court would take the wishes and feelings of your son in to account.
I hope you can get some contact going with him again soon. If you can't, you could consider attempting remote mediation or an application to court.
Just checking you have parental responsibility ie your name is on your son's birth certificate? If its not, she'll be able to change the name by deep poll without your consent. The UK Deed Poll Office website is very interesting:- It is the responsibility of the adult who is making the application with us for a Deed Poll for a child to ensure that they have the consent of all people and/or bodies with Parental Responsibility before they make the application.