My name is XXXXX XXXXX X am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question.
The court order will need to come from the family Court of Australia and you will need to provide detailed evidence in your affidavit that you are unable to locate the father.
You will need to file and initiating application with the court And the following link is the do-it-yourself kit for such an application.
You would seek the orders that the child's name be amended to your maiden name and that the court make this decision in the absence of the father.
In the affidavit you will need to provide detailed evidence of all searches that you have done to locate the father and that they have failed.
If you have contacted his family in Fiji and ask them to provide you with any information they have you would also include these correspondence in your affidavit.
It is your responsibility to prove to the court that you have exhausted all avenues of contact, and you have been unsuccessful in locating him.
The court will grant you your order provided it is satisfied that you have done everything you can to locate the child's father.
Does this make sense?
Hi yes this makes sense, I guess I just need to understand how far I have to go. Or what would be the situation if I was able to get a message to him via family in Fiji and he refuses to respond - which is the likely scenario, or refuses my application - which is the second most likely scenario. Would I be able to present a case for why my son's name should be changed even if the father refuses to consent? Basically, this man has not been in my son's life since he was 3 months old, he's provided no financial support, has made no enquiries as to his well being. He is not likely to have anything to do with my son in the future either. Where do I stand legally if I can get a message to him but he refuses to cooperate or refuses to even answer?
Ok, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX
Next question - I'm actually now living in Fiji, I have a three year work visa.. I currently still register my fathers address in Victoria as my Australian residention address. Would I have to be present at any hearing in Victoria?
And of course - how much would this likely cost, if I'm making the application myself i.e. not engaging a solicitor.
One final one I just thought of, but you may not be able to answer it. The intention is to remain in Fiji permanently, but that won't be for about 5 years when I'm eligible to apply. Once we were permanent residents in Fiji, perhaps even citizens, could I apply to change my son's name via Fijian law? Perhaps deed poll? You probably can't answer that, but I just thought of that. It's a lot easier, and cheaper, to go to court here!
Many thanks for your help. Pretty much confirmed what I already suspected might be the case, but I was having trouble trying to find out for sure.
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