(Court of Appeal, Jackson, Ryder LJJ, 20 August 2013)
The parents of the one year old child separated before his birth. The mother sent a message to the father informing him of the birth and they discussed name choices before agreeing to use the father's name as the child's middle name. The mother later changed her mind and didn't use the father's name when she registered the birth.
During contact proceedings the father applied to change the child's name to include his own as originally intended but the mother claimed she had been in no state to object to the father's controlling behaviour after her caesarean section. The judge rejected that submission and permitted the change of name. The mother appealed.
The appeal was allowed. The test was one of purely welfare having regard to the welfare checklist. At the time the judge considered the application the welfare aspect was neutral and did not require an order of the kind he made.