The Double Barrelled Last Name Debate

(62 Posts)
PhieEl06 Tue 05-Feb-13 11:16:54

So OH & I cannot agree on last name, we aren't married & probably won't be for a very long while, he wants baby (sex not yet known) to have his last name only, a very uncommon 3 syllable name. I want baby's last name to be double barrelled so my very common 1 syllable name then OH last name. My reasons for this being that at the moment we aren't married I haven't got his last name, there are no plans for us to be getting married & baby could well be in teens before this is a reality as silly as it seems I don't want to feel like my family has no connection to our child, if we do for double barrelled & we eventually get married I will either double barrel my name or change our child's to just his but obviously this could be a long way off. OH's reasons are this baby is his & it's just traditional that babies take their fathers names, he also makes the argument that in the future we will get married & it saves the hassle on name changing now.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation with DP & what was your outcome?

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 11:51:05

Why can't the father's name be the middle name? Or the first of the two un hyphenated last names which will, in reality, never be used and will end up as just another first name?

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 11:53:59

And what on earth is the difference between Smith Jones and Smith-Jones?

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 11:55:45

Apart, obviously, from Smith Jones being a way of telling the woman "yes, calm down dear, you're name's there too, see? Oh, I know we don't really use it, but it's there- what are you making such a fuss about?"

I'm struggling with this one too, our surnames just don't sound nice double barrelled but I do prefer my surname, it's a name I chose myself as I changed my name by deed poll (still a 'family' name but not the one I was born with) so feel quite attached to my name. I am planning on marrying my partner in a couple of years time but I'm not sure if I want to take his surname or not since mine is a nicer name. We did talk about if we have a girl giving it my surname and if it's a boy his but I don't know what we will actually decide in the end. I think we need to have another chat about it!

fraktion Wed 06-Feb-13 11:58:43

I doubled mine upon marriage but DS has DH's only. Had we not been married there's no way I would have allowed my child to have a completely different surname. It's tough enough travelling when we share a surname that's not identical anyway!

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 12:05:44

This is one of those times when I want to hop in a Tardis and go back to the '70s and have a word with the young woman I was then-

"You know that business about women changing their names on marriage and giving their children their husband's name? That thing we thought would sensibly die out once we stopped thinking of women as a possession to be passed from father to husband? Well, it's 2013, and we're still doing it. Sorry- we let you down"

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 06-Feb-13 12:07:35

Mine and both the girls are hyphenated. DH isn't, because he couldn't be arsed doing the paperwork (which, to be fair, is more involved for a bloke...not that that's a sexist situation or anything). So he's the only one without the shared family name. I figure, if he cares, he can join us.

Purplemonster, why on earth would you change your name? You chose yours, you changed it by deed poll, you like it better than his. That's a total no-brainer, surely? If it's that important to you both to share a name, why not suggest that he change to yours, since it's nicer and more meaningful?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 06-Feb-13 12:08:45

YY seeker. And fair warning: the first person to post "but my name was my father's name anyway so it's totally fair to relinquish it" gets a virtual slap.

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 12:11:06

And "but his name is so much nicer than mine" gets a slap too!

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 12:12:16

Purple monster- why are you struggling for a second! It's a complete no - brainer.

5madthings Wed 06-Feb-13 12:12:46

What tortoise said.

Oh and my kids have a double barrelled name and they arent bullies! Ffs as is having a double barreled name would make you a bully.

TalkativeJim Wed 06-Feb-13 12:21:30

Sorry, but I'd be starting from the position that my baby- that I'm giving birth to - has my name.

If we were married and had the same last name, then that would mean that the baby had our family name. Otherwise not.

I can't count the number of threads I've read where a woman regrets giving her child her DP's name only ... and then marriage isn't forthcoming ... And then they split, she marries and has children with a new partner - and the first child has a different surname.

Not saying you are at all likely to split (!) - but if you did, during all these years that you say you are unlikely to marry, who would the children live with/be registered with the doctor with/be taken to school by? You, 95% likelihood. Logic says the children of an unmarried couple should have the mother's surname.

His argument that its 'his' baby is redundant, if he wants to pull that kind of rank, he loses pretty quickly to the parent who gets to be pregnant, recover, breast feed, give up work for at least half a year...

So personally I think he should be biting your hand off at your very generous offer of DBing the name... give that you don't even have to have him there to register the birth and as you aren't married, he doesn't evenhave the legal right to register it himself!

TalkativeJim Wed 06-Feb-13 12:31:27

Oh and by giving the baby your name now, you basically plan for every scenario:

- if you marry, you change yours and the childrens' names to his at the same time;

- if you split, you retain control over what surname your child is able to use I future. So, were you to split and start a second family, your child could change their surname to your new family one. Or choose to take its father's name. Or keep yours. Conversely, if your child had your DP's name from the start, it's very unlikely he would allow his child to drop/double barrel his name if there were a split, even if it meant the child feeling the odd one out in its home family.

If your DP doesn't like hearing any of this, then as you have (once again, very generously) agreed to change your name to his on marriage - there's an easy answer!!

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 15:35:36

"No possible way either of our names could be a middle name,"

You can have a surname as a middle name, no reason why not. DS has (as well as a conventional middle name).

A good friend of mine has her mum's name as a middle name (along with two conventional names, so 5 names in total!)

FWIW I gave DS DP's surname (for my own personal reasons - different situation to yours so probably not worth explaining!). DP and I plan to get married but I'm going to keep my own name then anyway.

Having a different surname to DS does mean I need to take extra ID with him if flying to prove I'm his mum and not abducting him! (Learnt that ere, haven't tested it in practice).

MadameJosephine Wed 06-Feb-13 15:51:54

We are in a slightly different situation, I would have liked DD to have my surname but it's my married name (didn't go back to maiden name when I got divorced 12 years ago as I wanted to have same name as DS) and I could understand that DP didn't want to give his daughter my exH's name. We have no plans to marry but I am considering double barrelling my name so I have one surname in common with each of my children.

In your situation I would insist on the baby having your surname so I think you are being very reasonable to suggest double barrelled!

Locketjuice Wed 06-Feb-13 15:59:37

My sons surname is double barrelled.. 3 syllables-1 syllable.

My other half was dead against but I said that it was one thing I would not budge on so he had to accept! Baby number 2. Will have the same smile

LentilAsAnything Wed 06-Feb-13 18:23:55

<rubs sore cheek from seeker's slap> But my husband's surname IS much nicer than my maiden name! I was delighted to ditch my maiden name, which, incidentally, was double-barrelled (and no, I wasn't a bully! smile). One half was a very common surname too, I was especially glad to get rid of that.
If it was the other way round, I'd hope we'd keep the nicer name! Or choose a completely new one!
Not really answering OP's question, sorry! But I have no attachment to my old surname, it's just a name to me, and I am glad my DH, DC and I all have the same non-double-barrelled surname.
What about making up a new name, some sort of combination of the current surnames, or something totally new?
Mr Doobidoo and Ms Jones, now Mr and Ms Doones. Or Mr and Ms Devereux! Love that surname! smile

MumOfMissy Wed 06-Feb-13 18:36:15

We're not married and gave our DD a double barreled surname, mine first, then his. It's very long though and causes problems on some computer systems, eg at our doctors they only use the first half of her surname on the system as it can't cope.

MIL has been very sniffy about the whole thing. She posted our DD a card and on the envelope just put DDs first name. I was furious and got DP to pull her up on it but she didn't apologise. Waiting to see what she'll do next time. Grrrrrrrrr....

Anyway OP, your DC should definitely have your name as well as DP's.

Kelerina Wed 06-Feb-13 18:38:50

My DP and I aren't married, no plans to be, may or may not happen further down the line but I wouldn't be surprised if it never happened. It is not a lack of commitment in any way, he comes from divorced parents and I come from parents who should have divorced and didn't so neither of us believe that marriage can give us anything we don't already have, either we'll stay together or we won't. Sorry slight tangent......I am currently pregnant with PFB and we have decided that our son will have DP's surname and my surname as a middle name. This was mostly my decision as I am not overly attached to my surname but is is MY surname and if I were to ever marry I wouldn't change it anyway. This way my son has a connection to me in his name but his dad's surname (I just don't like double barrelled names). It was by no means a given that child would get DP's surname......he would never have fought for that and was of the opinion that really it was my decision as his mother. Very long winded sorry but thought i'd throw my opinion in!

SVN Wed 06-Feb-13 21:19:58

We're married but each of us have kept our own names and our children have double-barrelled names. I think it's such an anachronistic practise to insist on having the man's surname. Admittedly, it was a bone of contention between me and DH but I knew that if I gave in I would resent him forever more.

Our oldest child is now 8 and we've never encountered any difficulties/questions because of our children's double-barrelled surname.

scoutfinch1 Wed 06-Feb-13 22:14:47

I'm in a somewhat similar position to you but we are planning on getting married sooner rather than later. We are just giving baby DP's last name which I am happy with and if we don't end up getting married as soon as we would like I am thinking about just changing my last name to DP's by deed poll. If your DP is really unhappy about a double barreled name you could think about this although I get that this option is not for everyone.

Anjou Thu 07-Feb-13 00:49:09

Everything Talkative Jim said. Most folk here have said much the same thing in a very reasonable way that I think your partner would be hard pushed to argue with, so I hope it all helps!

And please don't take any notice of the the comment way above that double barrelled names are 'pretentious'. How bloody ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as saying everyone with a double barrelled name are bullies.

Good luck! smile

ripsishere Thu 07-Feb-13 01:09:12

I don't have my DHs surname. My DD does. She also has my surname as a middle name.

Bue Thu 07-Feb-13 17:41:53

We're married and we will do the same as ripishere for all our children. Not perfect, but it's my choice not to double barrel as I don't like it with our two names. If I wanted to DB, DH would be very happy to do so - and rightly so! The one solution he put his foot down on was alternating surnames for our children. I can accept that that idea is a little out there for many people.

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 17:46:09

Just wondering. Why is it always the woman's name that is put in as an extra middle name so it can be forgotten about?

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