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?

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 25-Mar-14 13:38:31

Could one DC have it one way, and the other, the other way?

FeliciaDoolittle Tue 25-Mar-14 13:39:43

Do the kids want to change their names? I don't think I can say if you ABU or not without knowing that.

If they do, then letting them choose which way round they go is the best option, I think.

PuffyPigeon Tue 25-Mar-14 13:40:12

YABU

PuffyPigeon Tue 25-Mar-14 13:41:41

YABU to ask the kids to take sides. Your husband doesn't have to agree to changing their name at all, you know.

Innogen Tue 25-Mar-14 13:46:21

I'd ask the kids, that's not unreasonable. If they are at an age where they understand genuinely what they want and what sounds best, ask them.

ikeaismylocal Tue 25-Mar-14 13:46:31

Yabu.

Flip a coin, don't get your kids involved with petty arguments. You as their parents need to sort this out regardless of marital status.

CountessOfRule Tue 25-Mar-14 13:47:31

The euphony matters IMHO.

eg if the names were Morrison and Smith then Morrison-Smith is easier to say than Smith-Morrison.

On the other hand, I know of a few cultures (Spain, Scotland, USA) where having both surnames is totally normal, and they all always order it MotherName FatherName.

I would go with "but the mother's name always goes first" myself.

But yes, what do the children think? Many divorced women keep the XH's name for this reason - to match the DC and because they've had that name so long they've established a professional reputation with it, etc. I will only be early forties when I will have been married for more than half my life.

gordyslovesheep Tue 25-Mar-14 13:49:39

YABU - why should they have your new name and not their dads name and their name?

I changed my name back last year - not my children's - they can make a choice at 18 if they wish to have my name

GoldieBear Tue 25-Mar-14 14:01:48

I think it depends how old your DCs are? Do they want to change names?

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Tue 25-Mar-14 14:03:26

Yabu. Why should your dc change their names?

MexicanSpringtime Tue 25-Mar-14 14:04:39

Actually Countess, in Spanish speaking countries, it is always the father's name first followed by the mother's name.

Nancy66 Tue 25-Mar-14 14:05:49

why should your kids change their names because you two couldn't make your marriage work?

change your own my all means but I think it's very selfish and unfair to expect them to change theirs.

Nennypops Tue 25-Mar-14 14:07:37

Do the kids actually want to go double barreled? It can be a real nuisance when it comes to forms etc, and when things are done in alphabetical order you never quite know which name people are using for those purposes.

ComposHat Tue 25-Mar-14 14:08:32

Do they want to change their names? Can't your hudband veto a name change anyway?

I would be inclined to keep the children's surnames as they until they are adults when they can decide what they want to be called.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 25-Mar-14 14:08:55

My sister and her ex recently went to court because they could not agree what order to have them.

They were ordered to have the original surname first and the change added on to the end.

NoonarAgain Tue 25-Mar-14 14:10:28

Nancy, I wish someone would tell my ex sil that!

Tbh, I can see why you wouldn't want a dc to be named as if they are an address eg sam hunter street or emily carter lane BUT try to remember that you crested this 'problem ' with your demands! Not your poor dc or DH!

mattsmadmum Tue 25-Mar-14 14:10:56

my kids have a double name with mine first but i kept my own surname

NoonarAgain Tue 25-Mar-14 14:11:23

'Created' not crested!

CountessOfRule Tue 25-Mar-14 14:14:09

Is it, Mexican? I stand corrected. In my two English-speaking examples it's definitely Hers His.

I have a double barrelled name from parents divorcing many moons ago and I can tell you now, I hate it!!!
It's a pita when filling in forms.

And even now my dm can get upset if I knock her name off simple things when I mean no malice it's just that I can't be bothered with writing it all down.

Tbf if he maintains a good relationship with your dc keep their surname, if not then I can see why you want to change it if his input in their lifes is sporadic, but even then ask your children what they want.

Nancy66 Tue 25-Mar-14 14:15:27

I so wish I hadn't clicked on your photos Twatty. Serves me right for being nosey.

loveandsmiles Tue 25-Mar-14 14:15:45

YABVU
My parents divorced when I was 5 and my mother changed my name. She then remarried and changed my name, divorced and changed it again! By the time she was on her 3rd marriage I was over 18 and changed my name back to my birth name.

I went through school being laughed at for all my name changes and hated my mother for it. Please don't do this to your children. Let them keep their name as it is. When they are over 18, if they are desperate to have your name, they can make that choice. You are being very selfish IMO.

Burren Tue 25-Mar-14 14:16:55

Our son has both our names, and we put mine first and my husband's second, purely for the purposes of euphony. In fact, I think you could argue which position is the more important either way, but letting the children decide (as long as they agree with one another!) would be a nice way of letting them feel they have some measure of control at a difficult time.

And telephone calls for me are even worseangry
Spelling out both names just to see a doctor with minimal time on my hands in the morning makes my blood boil, especially when receptionists cant work out how your pronouncing it arrrghhh

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 25-Mar-14 14:18:48

Bloody hell, now I've clicked on the photo too - disgusting!

ComposHat Tue 25-Mar-14 14:19:36

Countess in the US doesn't the double barrelling tendto happen on marriage and not get passed onto the children?

Eg. Bill Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Chelsea Clinton.

GoldieBear Tue 25-Mar-14 14:31:16

I can't see pictures. Someone fill me in please

What pictures? where, I'm on my phone

Omg I have just looked on my photos! I am so sorry folks, that was from months ago when I thought my daughter might have blood in her nappy, I'll delete now, sorry!

morethanacondiment Tue 25-Mar-14 14:35:57

Dirty nappy. I'm hoping they were linked to a "is my DC's nappy ok?" query, rather than being a MN rite of passage I've missed.

jay55 Tue 25-Mar-14 14:37:01

If you remarry will they have to change again?

BeverleyMoss Tue 25-Mar-14 14:37:59

YABU to be considering this right now.

And it's not about what you or your STBXH want, it's about what your children want at an age when they are able to make the decision which is right for them.

morethanacondiment Tue 25-Mar-14 14:38:26

Sorry, Twatty, X-post! I wonder if you could sell it to your ex and DC by pointing out that it'll make holidays abroad easier if both names are on their passports, or by treating your surname as a middle name? More of a two surname job than a double barrel?

caruthers Tue 25-Mar-14 14:38:29

You are divorcing your husband.

Your children are not.

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 25-Mar-14 14:38:44

It's their name, fine if you want to change your name but not theirs.

I don't have a professional reputation with my married name, it won't be a new name I'm using it will be my maiden name. Legally I know he doesn't have to agree to change their names, but morally I think it would be right to do so if the children agree, because why should they have his name and not mine? I gave birth to them just as much as he fathered them?
I actually would be more than happy to have his name first if it didn't sound like part of an address.
Re asking the kids, they are 9 and 7.5 and 1, I don't think any of them are mature enough to make that decision as to whether they want to change names or not, and actually, you are right it's not fair to ask them to choose knowing they will upset one or other of us. Maybe flipping a coin is best

DinoSnores Tue 25-Mar-14 14:42:21

Countess, others have already corrected your statement with regards to Spain and the USA, "On the other hand, I know of a few cultures (Spain, Scotland, USA) where having both surnames is totally normal, and they all always order it MotherName FatherName."

Having both surnames is NOT usual in Scotland either. Not quite sure why you might think that although often one of the children (but not all) is given the mother's maiden name as a middle name but it is not used as a surname. Their father's name is the surname.

I'm aware that my children are not divorcing their father, that's why it's important that his name will still be a part of their name, but I also think it's important that my name is in there too!

TinyTear Tue 25-Mar-14 14:46:37

Spain it's fathersurname mothersurname and most people use the first surname

Portugal it's mothersurname fathersurname and most people use the last surname or both

I added my DH surname to my name on marriage, and my DD is Mysurname DHsurname as two surnames and she can decide which ones to use when older. at the moment at nursery we use both

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Tue 25-Mar-14 14:47:08

Legally I know he doesn't have to agree to change their names, but morally I think it would be right to do so if the children agree

Legally he DOES have to give permission for you to change dc names.

BeverleyMoss Tue 25-Mar-14 14:48:46

why should they have his name and not mine? I gave birth to them just as much as he fathered them?

But you made the decision to give them his name already, this shouldn't change just because you are divorcing him. Presumably he will still have contact with them unless there is a huge backstory here in which he deserve to be banished from their lives?

Sorry, that should have read legally I know he does need to give consent, not doesn't.
No he doesn't deserve to be banished from their lives, he's a good and caring father.
The children have his name because we were married and I didn't realise when I married that I had the option not to change my name to his.
We are divorcing because of adultery on his side, I want nothing more to do with his name and would like to be free of it.

QuacksForDoughnuts Tue 25-Mar-14 14:57:04

She's not taking his name off them! Why does he want his name first, anyway? That's the one people are most likely to drop. You could try giving them a choice, provided they know the parameters are the two existing names together or in all possible combinations, rather than renaming themselves 'Poopyhead' or whatever other delightful names children that age would come up with on their own initiative.

Lemonylemon Tue 25-Mar-14 14:58:18

I would ask the DCs what they would like to do.

My DCs both have their father's names, resulting in 3 different surnames in the household. They've both decided that they want to have my surname put at the end of their names.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Tue 25-Mar-14 14:58:23

I want nothing more to do with his name and would like to be free of it

That is your choice, Your dc have no reason to want to be free of Their name.

thegreylady Tue 25-Mar-14 14:59:04

I'd want his name first as a kind of middle name so the last name would be the same as yours.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 25-Mar-14 15:00:31

How is he being banished from their life if she is not outright changing it.

She only wants to double barrel

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 25-Mar-14 15:03:08

And he's happy for it to happen he's just complaining about the order

LouiseAderyn Tue 25-Mar-14 15:07:26

OP, give in and let him put his name first. As time goes by, you will find it likely that the first name gets dropped and it the second name that people use. Your dc will end up using your name more than his, which will be a good result for you.

higgle Tue 25-Mar-14 15:17:10

You need the consent of the court to change the children's names, which in general terms they are not usually happy to do.

Higgle - from what I've read I can change the children's name by deed poll provided I have the consent of everyone who has parental responsibility, so that's me and him.

caruthers Tue 25-Mar-14 15:45:01

But he doesn't agree on the order o the names so he doesn't agree does he?

Well I double barrelled and my DD is double barrelled.
I split from my DH and she has now found out (well she's not daft so she figured it out) that he is a low life cheat who only cares about himself.
She doesn't want his name anymore but he's still her dad and I've told her she can't get rid until she's 18 and fully understands about it all.
She can't wait to drop his name and just have mine.
BTW - surname was myname then hisname.

The first barrelled name is normally the one to be dropped. I frequently miss of mine to save time tbh.

CountessOfRule Tue 25-Mar-14 16:32:48

I guess I've never given much thought to whether the hername hisname is middlename surname or surname surname. The part of Scotland I know uses hername hisname, but a married woman dies in her maiden name, and that's what I based my assertion on. I think the hername hisname Americans might be quite posh, come to think of it.

justmyview Tue 25-Mar-14 16:36:15

I think the children should keep their birth name until they're adults. At that age, they can decide if they wish to change their name.

Sovaysovay Tue 25-Mar-14 16:39:20

Don't change the children's names. You're getting divorced, not them. He's still their father, and their name is still their name.

AlwaysDancing1234 Tue 25-Mar-14 16:45:57

My mother has been married or "in a relationship" several times since my brother was born hence he has had several names over the last 20 odd years. If your kids are old enough then give them the choice but they may not like being stuck in the middle and made to choose as they will upset one of you either way. It's really not important in the grand scheme of things

tigermoll Tue 25-Mar-14 16:52:31

The surname may have started off as the fathers, but as soon as you gave it to the kids, it became their name in their own right. You don't get to add a name because you suddenly feel underrepresented. You aren't supposed to use a name to show ownership, and people's names aren't something you can just redecorate because they don't 'go' anymore.

ll31 Tue 25-Mar-14 16:55:06

Yabvu. Your children are people not possessions. Their names are their own.

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Tue 25-Mar-14 16:58:43

My mum changed back to her maiden name and did not allow us to change ours until we were old enough - which for me was when I was 17 and just before starting college.

I grew up hating my surname but can understand why she did it.

ikeaismylocal Tue 25-Mar-14 17:00:13

My ds has my name-dp's name and we choose to refer to him as miniIKEA-dp's name most often. I have just written his name in all of his clothes for nursery and I just wrote dp's name mostly because there isn't enough room to write both fairly long names on a 2 cm wide bit of fabric

We want ds to be known by dp's name as we live in a country which is prejudiced against foreign names and dp's name makes ds not look like an immigrant, we also wanted my name on his passport so when I travel with him we look related.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 25-Mar-14 17:02:44

It is not the same as giving the child a new persons name.

It is a combination of their mothers and fathers name

LongTailedTit Tue 25-Mar-14 17:17:34

How about this - add your maiden name as their last middle name, so their official last name doesn't change, but for passports and official name purposes they have your name included.
So if you're Jane Lane and ex is Bill Brown, your DC would be 'Daisy Rose Lane Brown'.

If the DC want it to be fully double barrelled, they can alter it themselves by deed poll at 18, so the format wouldn't change, just the legality.
Also, if they hate double barrelled names, they'll be able to just stick with their father's name, so no harm done.

I know quite a few adults with family surnames as 'last middle names', it's a very good solution to a sometimes thorny problem.
(Plus it won't dent your XH's ego so much). smile

LongTailedTit Tue 25-Mar-14 17:21:47

PS I'm coming at this from an angle where we had three surnames in the house as a kid. I had my dad's name, my mum her maiden name, and StD had his name. A right bloody pain.
I loathed my surname and changed it to DH's on marriage. If my mum had given me her maiden name as a middle name I'd have dropped my dad's surname at 18, but as it was her name had never felt 'mine' so I didn't.

cory Tue 25-Mar-14 17:31:28

ll31 Tue 25-Mar-14 16:55:06
"Yabvu. Your children are people not possessions. Their names are their own."

This. Seeing that your 9yo and 7yo are old enough to have been answering to their names at school for several years, I don't see how you can say that their surname is their father's. By this time surely it is their surname as much as it it their father's (who presumably inherited it from his father) and as much as your maiden name is yours?

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 25-Mar-14 17:37:06

What happens if you re-marry?

My kids are very much their own people. I'm actually doing this for them aswell because they are currently quite unsettled by the divorce and I think that when I change back to their maiden name it may have a further adverse affect. But if they change their name too it maintains the name link to me. I don't mind the children having their fathers name, he is their father and it is right that they should have that link, I had considered keeping his name but given the circumstances I don't feel happy or comfortable with that.
I think that I will go with the middle name option, that way they aren't changing their name, they are just getting an extra one, he doesn't have to use it if he doesn't want to and I can use it. It will also make travelling with them easier I suspect as different names can provoke questions

OwlCapone Tue 25-Mar-14 18:44:50

It's not really changing their names. It is adding to them. It's not the same as ditching their father's name and using the mother's.

OwlCapone Tue 25-Mar-14 18:46:17

Have you thought about double barrelling your name instead?

ikeaismylocal Tue 25-Mar-14 18:46:56

Do you have to change your name now? If you think it will unsettle your children is it not worth putting their feelings above your feelings of discomfort about having your ex's name?

If I were in this situation I would let things settle, prioritise creating as stable an enviroment for my dc as possible and revisit the name issue in 6/12/18 months when the children were more settled.

WooWooOwl Tue 25-Mar-14 18:49:14

I think at none years old a child is old enough to have some input into whether they want their name changed or added to. Not to make the final decision, but their view is worth considering.

I think it's quite selfish to change their name in the circumstances you describe, and I don't see how changing their name is going to make them feel less unsettled. If anything, it's likely to do the opposite.

You gave them their names already, and while I can understand why you don't want your ex's name but your reasons for wanting to change your dc's names are all about what's best for you, not them.

If you want to keep the same name as your children, then keep the name you gave them. If it's good enough for them then it should be good enough for you.

By telling them you don't want their fathers name any more, you are sending a very strong message that you don't want their name either, as even if you change it, their name as it is now is the name they have always known themselves by. If you don't want that part of your ex, and you don't want that part of them, it wouldn't be a massive leap for a child's immature brain to secretly think that there's other parts of them and their dad that you don't want either.

newbieman1978 Tue 25-Mar-14 18:51:18

Why not do something positive for your children and keep "your" name as it is. I know plenty of divorced women that don't revert to their maiden name in order to stay the same as the children.

Actually you might find that in the future your children are quite proud of the selfless act you did for them.

Waltonswatcher1 Tue 25-Mar-14 19:24:31

The poor kids.

Shockers Tue 25-Mar-14 19:34:47

Tell him that if his is last, it sounds more like the actual surname.

Look, my stbxh has lied to me and cheated on me systematically for our entire 16 year relationship, throughout three pregnancies and all the times in between. His inability to keep his cock in his trousers has lost him 2 jobs and sunk us into masses of debt. Thankfully we had a lot of luck and are now very financially secure but if it hadn't been for that we would have lost our home. To give you some idea of what I'm mentally dealing with, on the morning of my gender scan with this last baby, I looked on my email to find out the appointment time and the address of the clinic. Only it wasn't my email it was his. And the last thing he had sent was a photo of his cock to a woman who had reciprocated with a full on photo of her breasts. Nice. Just what I needed to see. Anyhow, the man is a cheating lying cunt and I want nothing more to do with him or his name.

Walton - why poor kids? What exactly am I doing to harm them?

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 19:48:25

When I changed back to my maiden name I changed my DDs name without permission of her father.

Nursery, anything related to the NHS, now school nursery took my word for it that I had informed her father (I had informed him but never asked for permission)

I have since been able to get her passport changed to my surname (although had to pay full price for a new one). The only document that remains with the name she was born with is her birth certificate. I took advice from my solicitor regarding this and have never had a single problem.

I've made the decision that if I were to ever re-marry (which I don't think I would actually want to) that I wouldn't change my name or my DDs name.

I can't see a problem with asking the children. You aren't asking them to choose between your or your ex you are asking them what they like the sound of better.

ikeaismylocal Tue 25-Mar-14 19:49:33

He sounds like an utter twat.

I don't blame you for wanting nothing to do with him ever again but you are an adult and you need to put your children's feelings before your own. The name isn't physically effecting you.

Staying with a man for a year+ when you found naked pictures of him and other women in his e-mail is surely harder than waiting a few months to change yours and your children's name?

Blu Tue 25-Mar-14 19:52:38

1. I understand why you want to add your name to their surname, but think you should leave changing the kids names until a few months after the divorce and things have settled down for them. Establish your re-use of your birth name (I hate the term 'maiden' name), let them get used to that and then when the time feels right suggest that they add yours as a hyphenated surname. You do not want this battle wrapped up in the actual process of divorce for the kids.

2. Find a way to 'let slip' that obviously the last surname is the one people regard as the main surname because it is last...in a single surname the last name is the surname, and that's how people view hyphenated surnames...say because the kids are living with you oit would probably have been more convenient to give them the 'main' / last name as yours, but as it sounds better with yours first, you have to give up the main last-name position..... (this is bollocks of course. In a similar conversation before DS was born I had to convince DP of the opposite and to put his name first - because it sounds far better like that - by telling him that his name would be the name DS was filed under in all his important documents).

3. If the kids are resistant, don't push it. But DS absolutely loves having a hyphenated name and gets very indignant if teachers leave any part of it out.

4. Do not, having given the kids your surname, change your name or the kids names to the name of any future partner.

FabBakerGirl Tue 25-Mar-14 19:53:35

"because why should they have his name and not mine? I gave birth to them just as much as he fathered them?"

Seems you only feel like this now you are divorced.

IME Names are very important to children and with your being so young I think you should keep things as they are for now. They have enough to put up with without getting told to choose between their parents hmm and getting used to a new name.

I think they would be fine with things as they are more than the changing to your name. No matter what you say they will feel like their dad has gone from their day to day lives and has gone from their name tags too.

Waltonswatcher1 Tue 25-Mar-14 19:54:05

Your anger is understandable , I'm really sorry you have had a truly awful time .
You posted on here for opinions . My opinion is that name change is massive - not for you perhaps . But for them its drastic .
I feel for the kids as they are obviously caught up in this , you can't deny that if you are considering something as huge as a name change .
Hence poor kids .

Ps - divorced parents myself - no rose tinted specs and ivory tower here .

Ok I take on board what you are all saying. I'll let the divorce go through and let it settle for 6 months, and then broach the subject with the kids. I've lived with it this long I can survive a few more months.
I think the plan will be to add my name as a middle name so that it doesn't detract from their surname.
If I remarry I will double barrel so that I retain my own name in there, so only one name change unless they decide otherwise once they are adults.

Cuddlydragon Tue 25-Mar-14 20:12:57

In Scotland the old legal convention for describing a woman in legal matters is first name followed by maiden name or married name so you would have Jane Smith or Brown as an example, as technically that was a full description. It wasn't double barrelled and is now very old fashioned and rarely used even by stuffy lawyers.

justmyview Tue 25-Mar-14 20:19:07

In Scotland the old legal convention for describing a woman in legal matters is first name followed by maiden name or married name so you would have Jane Smith or Brown as an example, as technically that was a full description. It wasn't double barrelled and is now very old fashioned and rarely used even by stuffy lawyers.

It would still be used in court proceedings or in conveyancing documents, more as a way of identifying that it's the same person involved

WooWooOwl Tue 25-Mar-14 20:20:50

A cheating lying cunt he may be, but that's not your children's fault.

You aren't only trying to get rid of his name, you are also trying to get rid of theirs, because it belongs to them every bit as much as it does him.

You wanting to reject that bit of them will hurt them. How can it not?

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 20:26:54

But she has just said she will be considering adding her name as a middle name. That isn't losing their fathers name, that is just adding another name in.

LongTailedTit Tue 25-Mar-14 20:32:51

The OP has said several times that she does not want to remove their fathers name, she wants to add hers.
She has now decided against double barrelling the surnames and would like to add hers as a middle name - their surname wouldn't change.
RTFT.

fideline Tue 25-Mar-14 20:42:24

YANBU.

Mediation?

WooWooOwl Tue 25-Mar-14 22:51:20

I have rtft.

If she's rejecting the name her children have for herself, it's sending exactly the same negative message about it to them. If it's a good enough name for her children, then it should be a good enough name for her.

By changing her own name, she's not just telling her children that she no longer wants to share a name with their Dad (which is already hurtful enough to them) she's telling them that she doesn't want the same name as them.

Adding her name to theirs doesn't change that, she is still rejecting the only name they have ever known themselves by.

OwlCapone Wed 26-Mar-14 07:25:19

If she's rejecting the name her children have for herself, it's sending exactly the same negative message about it to them. If it's a good enough name for her children, then it should be a good enough name for her.

How utterly ridiculous.

She is reverting to her original name. It is easy to explain this to the children without coming across as you describe. Unless, of course, you are an idiot.

And she was never rejecting his name for the children, just adding hers. again, this is really easy to explain to the children without being negative about the father.

OwlCapone Wed 26-Mar-14 07:27:45

By changing her own name, she's not just telling her children that she no longer wants to share a name with their Dad (which is already hurtful enough to them) she's telling them that she doesn't want the same name as them.

Dear god, I've just read this bit. Are you some kind of historical throwback who thinks women should stand by their man forever? The fathers actions of routinely shagging other women has been FAR more damaging to the whole family than adding an extra name in for the children or the OP reverting to her maiden name.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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)

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 11:11:45

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

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.

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.

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.

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).

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