Changing a surname?

(17 Posts)
eyebrowsfurrowed Mon 09-Sep-13 21:14:45

I want some advice from mums who have separated from their partner and wanted to change their DC's surname to their own.

ExP insisted on DD taking his surname when she was born and I couldn't put up a good argument as to why this should not be the case.

Now we've split - she's nearly one - I want her to have a double-barrelled surname. I still want her to retain his name as he's her Dad, always will be and wants to be well involved. The only thing is I feel disconnected. He says it's non negotiable.

What's the deal?

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Mon 09-Sep-13 21:59:46

You need his permission to change it I'm afraid. I had the same issue with my DD and I discussed it with my ex at the time. I haven't done anything official about it but my DD is 'known as' my surname at school/GP/Dentist. I don't want to make the change permanent without my DD having her own say, and when she's old enough to understand more/form a view she can either revert to his surname, make mine permanent or adopt a double barrelled one instead.

If you go down the 'known as' route you might well find school/GP/dentist etc. won't change without something from your ex to say he agrees. My ex sat in the school office with me, DD and the HT stating he agreed, so I had no problem. The GP/dentist changed on my say so, with no further proof required.

I should say, my ex has no PR so technically I don't need his permission. But I felt it best to make sure he was aware and had no objection. You need to have the conversation unfortunately if its something you want to do.

lostdad Mon 09-Sep-13 22:07:18

The bottom line is that you are not permitted to change the name of a child if your ex holds PR.

If he holds PR you are also not permitted to `cause a child to be known by a new surname' so the `known as' route is not allowed.

Why do you need to change your DDs name however? You say you `couldn't put up a good argument' why she shouldn't have your ex's surname. What `good argument' could you use to justify such a decision now.

I'm not trying to be harsh here - if it got to court the decision to change her name would depend on you demonstrating that changing you DD's surname is in her best interests.

NicknameIncomplete Mon 09-Sep-13 22:14:15

I am wondering the same as lostdad.

My dd & i have different surnames & it doesnt affect us at all. Why does ur childs name have to change?

eyebrowsfurrowed Mon 09-Sep-13 22:14:53

No it's fine and I do agree. The only thing is now for the rest of ever I will have a child whose surname I'll never share and that upsets me.

I never want to sever her from her Dad. That's not what this is about. I will always fully facilitate their relationship to the best of my capabilities. He has full PR, well shared with me I guess? There's no coming between that and I don't want to.

What I do have exception to though is that he has always argued that the prerogative is for the child to have the father's surname.

Why though, is my question? I provide for her and care for her too. Why shouldn't it be double barrelled? We are both her parents...

lostdad Mon 09-Sep-13 22:24:36

I appreciate what you're saying eyebrowsfurrowed - as he won't negotiate court would be your only option.

If you were married to (and took) your ex's surname could you retain it (although I can understand this not being an option either...) so you had the same surname as your DD? As you both have PR (even if you have a residence order in your favour) there is nothing you can do about this.

It is unpalatable - my son has my surname (I was married to my ex and she had it too) but after she abducted him she remarried the name she had left me for and attempted to teach my son that his surname was her new one. So I do emphathise on the whole name thing.

Separation is a nasty, upsetting business.

eyebrowsfurrowed Mon 09-Sep-13 22:33:49

No we never married and never will (sorry I am a bit confused about his para).

Also wtf? Did your wife get REmarried and then tell your son this was always his name?

Your situation sounds horrid. Thankfully mine is not so messy and probably very fraught at the moment as this is a very new situation we've found ourselves in.

I have always been one for complete equality in every sense of the word and maybe this is why I feel so strongly about the issue. To me that's what this is about now as there's no chance we'll all share the same name.

How long ago was your split?

NicknameIncomplete Tue 10-Sep-13 11:10:29

Is there no chance u could change ur name to your childs? It only costs about 50 pounds if that.

eyebrowsfurrowed Tue 10-Sep-13 11:18:26

And then share my EXp's surname? I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that.

I just want a way of putting it to him so that he understands what I mean. And I suppose if he doesn't agree then I may take it to court (although I hate this idea).

lostdad Tue 10-Sep-13 13:33:27

Remember - if you go to court you're going to have demonstrate that it's in your DD's best interests. If I were helping your ex I would say `Eyebrowsfurrowed believed that dad's surname was in their DD's best interests but since they separated she believes that a double-barrelled name is in their DD's best interest. The only thing that has changed - and must be her motivation is that she has separated from the child's father'.

eyebrowsfurrowed Tue 10-Sep-13 13:42:06

Well I can't argue with that. I want it changed to both as we won't ever have the same name now. That's right, exactly how you say it.

I don't understand why it's such a big deal though as she's not even one. I think you can even change children's first names up untill their first birthday.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Tue 10-Sep-13 18:02:53

Its a big deal because its her identity and that's the surname you agreed on when you were together. You wouldn't be able to change her first name without both parents agreeing either. I can see why it bothers you but unfortunately, the time to double barrel was when she was registered. If not having the same name is something that is really bothering you, couldn't you consider getting over the discomfort and change your surname? You could see it as taking your daughters name rather than taking your ex's name, maybe?

NicknameIncomplete Tue 10-Sep-13 19:54:03

What are you going to do if you get married to someone else & want to take their name? Or your dd gets married & takes her husbands name. You might not have the same surname for ever.

eyebrowsfurrowed Tue 10-Sep-13 20:06:56

I think i'm just going to have to let it go...

But that was something else I wanted to ask???

What is the normal situation when there is a marriage? Does the child retain their name or take on the new family name? (NOT THAT IM PLANNING ON GETTING MARRIED ANYTIME IN THE FORSEEABLE BEFORE ANYONE GETS ALL JUDGEY).

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Tue 10-Sep-13 20:15:58

They retain their own name because you STILL can't change a name without both parents permission.

eyebrowsfurrowed Tue 10-Sep-13 20:43:10

Thanks very much for your replies. I just wanted to know common policy and have my answers.

It's up to Ex if he shares my thoughts but I like the idea that it stays the same until she is old enough to make a decision if she wants. If not that's cool too. I was just wondering if it makes a difference because of her age but that's understandable that her identity is cemented.

WithConfidence Tue 10-Sep-13 22:03:28

This is another reason I am so grateful to live in Scotland. Here anyone can start using a new name, you just write a letter informing doctors etc.

You can't change a passport unless the other parent agrees. The other parent can also go to court to stop you using the other name informally but it takes them to actually get up and do it.

My ex was abusive and forced me to give the baby his surname, just another thing I wish I hadn't put up with. I feel both parents are important but why should he leave me to do all the shitty, hard parenting but get whatever he wants.

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