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To want my kids to have my name? Divorce literally on the cards!

(132 Posts)
Jugglingallthebollocks Fri 07-Oct-16 23:19:24

So this is actually a deal breaker for me and I'm ready to divorce I feel my husband is being so unfair.
Our kids are 8 and 10 and have always had my husbands surname. I didn't change my name when I married 12 years ago as I am a bit of a feminist and I have a professional career that I am well known by my maiden name. When we had kids he was unmovable that the kids had his surname only.
Fast forward a few years and now the kids want my name too, I travel a lot with my children alone and I'm sick of getting stopped at customs as we have different names. This happened again recently hence me bringing up the discussion again.
He is adamant they can not have my name, I've suggested they take it as an extra middle name but still no. His argument is that it's disrespectful to him.
He's not a Neanderthal in any other way, is very hands on, does lots of childcare.
I'm perhaps more pissed off than I should be as I'm paying off a HUGE debt of his (I'm the higher earner and have taken on extra work to sort this) that he hid from me so I'm still angry about this and kind of feel 'it's my right' for my kids to have my name too.

Can he explain why it's disrespectful to him? (It isnt).

DarklyDreamingDexter Fri 07-Oct-16 23:25:48

I don't think it's legal to change children's surnames without the permission of the other parent. Once kids get to 16 it's up to them, but until then you may just have to live with it unless he changes his mind.

CotswoldStrife Fri 07-Oct-16 23:26:35

It sounds as if this is not about the children's surnames. If you are unhappy about paying off the debt then you should talk about that or make an agreement for your DH to pay more towards it, rather than involving the children in it sad Hope you get something sorted, OP.

Jugglingallthebollocks Fri 07-Oct-16 23:31:22

He can't say why it's disrespectful other than its tradition.
I haven't asked to change the names because of the debt, I've always wanted them to have my name too, but I think the debt thing as perhaps made me feel as if I have more rights now as I'm sorting it out (I know that's daft but recognise it could be colouring my judgement and contributing to me feeling so angry st his pig headedness).

Lighthouseturquoise Fri 07-Oct-16 23:35:32

It sounds like you regret not giving them your name in the first place, but you've done it now so changing it is a big step.

Do the children really want to change their name? What are their reasons for wanting to?

How would double barrelling sound?

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 07-Oct-16 23:36:44

I always thought it was perfectly legal to use either name, regardless of what's on your BC.
. I think the only time you'd need permission, is. If you met someone and your new partner wanted to adopt your children.
I'm no expert though.
Why should you need permission for your children to use your name.

TeacupDrama Fri 07-Oct-16 23:36:51

I don't think it would have been disrespectful to use your surname from the beginning but l can sort of see that it is to want to change it now as it has been fine then because of other issues you want to change unilaterally.
Legally you need his permission as he has parental responsibility. While in certain cases where the court judge there is a good reason for change without consent ( mostly because of absence abuse etc) they may agree l don't think anything you have written in OP would persuade a court that he was being unreasonable as an involved father in refusing consent.

Issues with debt and marriage are separate and the children's names shouldn't be dragged into it l generally don't think changing names is a good idea neither would l be in favour of changing their surnames to his if they had had your surname from birth, it's not just his name it's now their name, loads of people travel with children not having same surnames

followTheyellowbrickRoad Fri 07-Oct-16 23:38:58

Even if you divorce you can't change their name without his consent. Can you double barrel your name and that way your name will match theirs when you go away.

Lighthouseturquoise Fri 07-Oct-16 23:39:19

I agree with teacupdrama. It would have been fine to take your name from the start, but changing it now probably feels like a snub to their dad.

You do need permission to change it legally although you can be known as whatever you like.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Fri 07-Oct-16 23:39:42

I don't think it's legal to change children's surnames without the permission of the other parent.

Correct. You need permission.

Meadows76 Fri 07-Oct-16 23:41:22

I hate this flippant changing of children's names to suit people's relationship status. No need.

TeacupDrama Fri 07-Oct-16 23:41:39

Using a different name between family friends etc is not the same as legal documents like birth certificates passports driving licences etc.

littlepeas Fri 07-Oct-16 23:42:29

I suspect this is quite a common male attitude. When dh and I married I suggested double barrelling my name with his and giving this name to our dc. He wasn't happy at all and I didn't feel strongly enough to push it (though I do get the odd pang of regret, especially now my dad is gone). He is otherwise a fantastic, supportive dh and a truly brilliant, hands on, father, the name issue bugged him for some reason. A friend had the same issue - she double barrelled, but her dc have her dh's name only.

Jugglingallthebollocks Fri 07-Oct-16 23:42:49

Thanks for the replies. I don't think I've been clear, I've ALWAYS wanted them to have my name, it's been a constant source of discontent since they were born. We had an argument outside the office when we went to register our first born as I wanted it so much but he wouldn't budge.
Me wanting this has never changed but the kids are asking for it now, the customs thing prompted the eldest to ask for it this week.
The debt thing isn't what has made me want it but is perhaps making more annoyed at him than he should be over his refusal.

Jugglingallthebollocks Fri 07-Oct-16 23:46:39

God I'm so tired my posts aren't making any sense. I want, and always have wanted, our kids to have BOTH of our names. My kids are now old enough to ask for my name as well as their dads but he will not budge. I would like our kids to have my name as a middle name and keep his name as their surname . Surely that's not unreasonable?

gillybeanz Fri 07-Oct-16 23:47:44

You have to re register their names, you can't use any other name than the original one, apart from with friends.
School, Doctors, Dentist, anywhere where you have to sign your name they will have to have a certificate, I believe.

gillybeanz Fri 07-Oct-16 23:50:20

Tell him to agree as he sounds very controlling not to let you in the first place.
Or stop paying his debt, why are you doing this anyway, he sounds like a controlling arse.
Divorce sounds a great choice, but they'll keep his name if he doesn't agree.

Jugglingallthebollocks Fri 07-Oct-16 23:52:56

Gillybeanz he's genuinely as far from controlling as you could possibly get, which is why this is so odd that's he's so adamant about this.
WRT the debt, I'm the main and high earner and he does most of the afterschool childcare so I can do my job.

TeacupDrama Fri 07-Oct-16 23:55:23

Given nearly 50% of children's parents are not married this must happen at customs all the time but l think somehow you are reinforcing this idea in eldest head rather than dealing with it like the other parents do as if you were cool about it, it would be a non issue but you do seem to be involving the children in this long running disagreement. Children shouldn't be involved in these disputes your DH probably thinks you are putting the children up to this. Letting this fester for 10 years after registering births is pointless and not fair on your children. Generally l am not in favour of children been given father's surname if not married but you were and you went along with it. The other stuff may indicate the relationship is at an end but ending it in divorce still won't get the name change.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Sat 08-Oct-16 00:00:19

Tell him to agree as he sounds very controlling not to let you in the first place.

Isn't that a contradiction hmm

Blu Sat 08-Oct-16 00:00:47

YANBU - completely reasonable for the kids to add your name to his. I thin some posters think you were swapping his name for yours.

He is being a complete Neanderthal knob in his 'respect' nonsense. What is behind that?

Hiding a huge debt is pretty serious.

So basically he deceitfully hid a huge debt from you, is allowing you to do extra work to pay it off, and he thinks he is one to talk about respect?

user1471494124 Sat 08-Oct-16 00:02:14

YANBU to feel this way at all. He is being an arse. Stand your ground! Can't he see that he is being disrespectful to you?

Blu Sat 08-Oct-16 00:02:18

How did he run up debt?

Moonpuddle Sat 08-Oct-16 00:02:34

What countries are you traveling to where having different names is such an issue? I know you have sometimes have to take letters or whatever but it's not unusual or insurmountable. I used to live in a country where women kept their maiden names on documents.
I don't think it's normal for kids to give their names much thought unless there is something weird about their name so I'm wondering if they are asking about changing their names because they have heard you arguing about it or because you've talked to them about it. If so, might that be the reason your DH is being so stubborn. He might think you've been putting ideas in the kids heads iyswim

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