Re changing children's names.

(118 Posts)

Am divorcing my husband, will be returning to my maiden name at some point in the near future. Want to change kids names to double barrel of both our names because I don't want to use his name anymore yet want to have same name as my children. We are now arguing about whose name should come first in the double barrel, I would prefer my name first, not because it's my name but actually because my name is an address suffix (like crescent, avenue etc) so having his name first it sounds like a place name or part of an address.
Of course he wants his name first, because it wouldn't be manly for mine to be first I suspect.
I have suggested that as we can't agree, rather than argue, we let the kids decide which way round they want it since it will be their name.
Apparently this is me wanting it all my own way! Aibu?

MiaowTheCat Wed 26-Mar-14 12:32:48

One thing I'd say as a child who had a surname change because of parental divorce...

Don't fall into the trap of making it out to be "HIS name"... to your kids - it's just their name without the connotations it understandably has to you.

In the end my surname was changed - but it was MY choice and wish to do so - a new step-sibling made me want to be part of the reconstituted family and change my surname to reflect that (obviously not put as eloquently when expressed by 10 year old me), plus the annoyance of having to explain why absence notes were signed by a different surname - but that was a different era when things like that were less common.

That marriage of my mum's subsequently broke up as well - when my step father reappeared on the scene years later wanting to meet he piped up with "oh I'm soooo glad you kept MY name" and was promptly shot down by my 21 year old self (quite proud of how sharp I was on that one considering I normally think of withering put-downs 2 hours after the event) replying completely dead-pan, "No, I kept MY name."

The other thing I find occasionally is that I have to explain why my birth certificate name is different to my adult name (probably more of an issue when you consider I was doing supply teaching and so showing ID on an almost daily basis) - I carried around a copy of the name-change documentation along with my birth certificate for a while, and when I married, on the suggestion of the registrar I chose to have Miaow X, formerly Miaow Y on the certificate to give me an additional papertrail on my namechanges as well (and reduce the amount of ID crap I had to keep around).

I have no plans to remarry, however if I did I would double barrel so I would retain my maiden name in addition to
my new husbands. Have no intention of having more children, 3 are quite enough, and I'm nearly 40.
I can't stress enough that I have no wish to take their fathers name from them, he is their dad whatever his actions towards me, he loves them and is an excellent and involved co parent, but after my experiences I no longer wish to use his name for myself. I think that adding my name as a middle name is an excellent compromise as then both of their parents are represented in their names, he doesn't need to use my name if he doesn't wish and their surname won't sound like an address like it would if I double barrelled his name-my name which is the only double barrel he will consider.

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 11:40:10

There was no objection as such but there wasn't an agreement either. He was informed and he didn't respond so I guess it was deemed a silent agreement although it was more likely can't be arsed to either agree or disagree.

As I have said the circumstances were very different though.

caruthers Wed 26-Mar-14 11:17:02

HudYerWeisht I suppose in your instance with no real objection then the right thing was done by all.

wongadotmom Spot on!! My late Mother didn't change her name after divorce either and even though my Father was a dyed in the wool Rat I and my siblings still have his name.

Maybe it was different back then and there was a stigma involved in her decision but as a child I didn't think about it once.

wongadotmom Wed 26-Mar-14 11:12:13

I agree with woowoo.
I have never changed the name I was given at birth, but if I did I would consider my new name to be MY name.
I don't understand why some women think their husband's surname is HIS when they have chosen to take the same name.
I have known divorced women who do not revert back to their birth name and I can understand why.
Woowoo could probably articulate this better than I have!

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 11:11:45

I appreciate that I'm just saying that from my experience I haven't been questioned once.

caruthers Wed 26-Mar-14 11:08:00

If he doesn't agree and wishes to pursue it HudYerWeisht then she wont be able to do it.

Because you managed it doesn't necessarily mean that the OP can.

As long as her soon to be ex has parental responsibility and he has sufficient will he can prevent her by legal means.

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 11:02:56

Bearing in mind it's unlikely she is going to be able to do it unless he agrees.

I did it with no agreement from my ex. I actually dropped his name entirely and my daughter only goes by my name. Now there were very different circumstances behind this that what there are in the OP but not once did I need to provide proof of my ex's agreements. NHS, nursery, now school nursery all took my word that he had been informed (he had) and I have changed her passport now too all I had to do was send a letter and proof my DD goes by my name (NHS documents)

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 26-Mar-14 10:48:40

Lay off woowoo she's blatantly obviously not excusing his behaviour and she has been a single parent so obviously is not a stand by your man no matter what type.

She's just expressing her opinion

caruthers Wed 26-Mar-14 10:40:06

If it's so 'unimportant' why does she want to do it?

Bearing in mind it's unlikely she is going to be able to do it unless he agrees.

sashh Wed 26-Mar-14 10:30:07

You are getting divorce your children are not divorcing their father.

What do the children think?

Why do you want them to have the same name as you?

Is your name your mother's? Your fathers?

What if you remarry? What if you remarry and have another child?

samandi Wed 26-Mar-14 08:47:40

FGS, changing the kids' names isn't going to scar them for life. In fact I doubt the one year old will hardly notice.

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 08:40:40

If you were that bothered then why weren't the kids double barrelled from birth?

Because at the time of birth they all had the same surname. That changed with the OP reverting to her maiden name and rightfully so that's her choice.

How on earth is it punishing someone to add a name in. She doesn't want to remove his name she wants to add hers in. Bloody hell who knew people were so sensitive. What a warped view of what a punishment is.

wheresthelight Wed 26-Mar-14 08:34:31

Sorry posted too soon!

Are you sure your motives are as pure as wanting them to have part of your identity? It reads like you are deluding yourself a little bit (sorry) and using it as a justification to punish stbxh

wheresthelight Wed 26-Mar-14 08:33:05

This whole thread seems utterly ridiculous!

If you were that bothered then why weren't the kids double barrelled from birth?

You seem to be doing this to punish your stbxh whetheryyou realise it or not! Please let your emotions calm down before you do anything! adding the name as a middle name or a double barrelled name is going to confuse the hell outbof your kids

fluffyraggies Wed 26-Mar-14 08:26:16

I reverted to my maiden name after the divorce and now have remarried so changed again. My 3DDs have their fathers name. It grates on me every time i have to say it/hear it. But they don't know that and i would hate them to know it.

I never seriously thought about trying to alter the children's names. If i had been that worried about their name somehow linking them to me i'd have gone double barreled when they were born.

Their name is their name to them. To them it's not their father's name, it's their name. In the same way that my maiden name is MY name, not ''my father's name'' or ''my mother's name''.

My maiden name means nothing to my children. It only means something to me. I would not add to the changes in their lives by messing with their names.

OwlCapone Wed 26-Mar-14 08:22:44

You are saying that the OP has to otherwise she will damage her children.

There is no emotional damage provided you are not a twat about it.

I don't think it's bizarre to think it may have an effect, I know I was sad when I was little that I didn't have the same name as my dad, and my name remained the same until I married.

But that is ridiculous when you say you don't have the same name as your children. Surely you should change your name to match to ensure that they aren't sad or emotionally damaged by having a different name to you?

Adding a name to a surname to make it Smith-Jones is not the same as changing it to Smith from Jones. One removes a parent and one adds an equal parent in. It is surely positive for the child to see that their mother's name is equally important and, on a day to day basis, makes absolutely bog all difference as the child can still be known as Jones if they prefer.

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 08:22:33

Like I said WooWooOwl I have spoken to many children regarding other issues and not once has a child said they are upset that their mother changed her name.

They are either too young to notice/care and old enough to understand why.

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 08:21:25

Oh dear those typos. Don't mumsnet on the bus!

WooWooOwl Wed 26-Mar-14 08:15:46

I'm not saying that a women has to keep her name on divorce, that's entirely her own decision. I just think that it's worth considering the emotional impact that may have on children who are also having their mother change their name away from theirs.

I don't think it's bizarre to think it may have an effect, I know I was sad when I was little that I didn't have the same name as my dad, and my name remained the same until I married.

Fwiw, I am someone who has a different surname to my children, and I don't think that has damaged them in any way at all. But if I had had the same name as them when I got married, I wouldn't have changed my name whether their name was mine or my ex's, because it just seemed to make sense that they might feel hurt if I changed my name away from theirs.

OwlCapone Wed 26-Mar-14 08:08:15

No one said it was a competition.

Saying that a woman has to keep her married name when divorced is as ridiculous as saying she must change it upon marriage.

As an aside, I have no personal agenda, I kept the name of my adulterous twat of an XH because I preferred it to my own. My choice entirely. The children would be no more damaged had I decided to revert to my maiden name - that idea is utterly bizarre.

homeanddry Wed 26-Mar-14 08:07:49

I'd leave it to the DC to decide if and when they want a new name.

I'm divorcing for the same reason as you and have been using my maiden name since we split. My teen DC have unofficially adopted my name (of their own free will, I didn't cross my mind that they might want to).

I wish I'd double barrelled from the start but I don't think it's a good idea to mess with their names as part of a divorce.

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 07:52:29

Have you actually spoken to a child who's mother changes their name? I've never came across one who gives a shit Tbh and I've et a spoken to many about a whole manner of things.

If a woman does not want to share her eyes surname that her perogative. And adding in a name should not be an issue. It's actually in a child's interests to retain a named link to both parents when possible.

It is in some cases better for a child to drop their Father's surname and take on their mothers.

WooWooOwl Wed 26-Mar-14 07:43:26

Of course the fathers actions are far more damaging, that goes without saying, but it's not a competition.

We will just have to agree to disagree.

barnet Wed 26-Mar-14 07:40:52

Yes to adding it as a middle name. In Norway it is quite common to have mother's name as a middle name. Their surname would still be the dad's though.

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