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PIL disowning DH for double-barrelling our surnames

(323 Posts)
doublebarrelled Wed 09-Jan-19 09:57:13

NC as outing (spoken to a few friends & family about this) and I shall not drip feed (intentionally anyway!)


2 years ago, just before I gave birth to our DS, (now) DH & I discussed about how we would give DS a double-barrelled surname as that is what we would likely do when we marry. This certainly came up in conversation with the PIL and they did not cause a fuss about it.

For background, DH was the one who wanted to double-barrel as he believed that his surname with my name sounded stupid (tbf it does sound a bit odd) and he liked the sound of our two names together. At the registering of DS, I checked he still wanted to double-barrel as I was happy just to give DS his name with the view, we could either a) change all our names later or b) that I would take his name.

Fast forward to the 6th January. DH is in hospital with suspected meningitis, he has the rash on his limbs and is finding it hard to stay conscious. MIL looks through his medical notes (she works in the hospital and has a good understanding of medical stuff, she has actually been really useful to have around for my medical issues when I have had to go into hospital) and she notices that DH’s surname has been double-barrelled.

She then proceeds to have a hissy fit at DH, who cannot do much but lay there, and then texts shockingly at me too. Previous to this she had already text me how she feels DH is ill because he works too hard and I must take care of him more. DH & I work just as hard as each other and actually had a super chilled festive break!

(Just an FYI, DH doesn’t have meningitis but is still ill, he has been discharged but still under consultant care as he is having extreme headaches and is passing out)

Monday, PIL try telling DH & I that we have illegally NC our surnames by double-barrelling them without deed-poll and even then it is a dangerous game to double-barrel as most places will not recognise us. When we explain to them that we have actually changed our name everywhere bar our passports they then have a full fit about how DH is going to be in serious trouble with the law.

Yesterday, DH gets a text saying that MIL has booked all our tickets to France and just a reminder to transfer money across. We are super grateful she booked it up for us as means we all shall be able to sit together on the Eurotunnel and makes sense for us all to travel together.

But it suddenly occurs to DH that MIL might not have booked our tickets as our actual double-barrelled name… He was correct! She bloomin booked them under their surname! So now our tickets will be invalid as they will be in the wrong name!

MIL states she booked them in our actual names as stated on our birth certificates and that our passports will be rejected as no one can actually double-barrel their names unless its by deed-poll and even that is tricky and even then, men are not allowed to change their surname!

BIL then gets involved (he lives with PIL still) and states that we are both wrong, legally and ethically.

FIL then snatches the phone and tells DH that unless the double-barrel name goes then he will be disowned from the family!

DH then throws his phone across the room and cries (never seen him like that ever, but think with him being in so much pain from the headache issue and the horrid statement from his Dad I cant be surprised!)

I have always wondered if PIL actually likes me being part of DH’s life. I recall when MIL cried to DH that she didn’t like how another woman has replaced her and she isn’t happy with the life he now has (this was a couple months after I gave birth to DS). MIL always tells DH to only have DS with me and no other children, she cried when she found out we were having #2 and when that ended in MMC she was very “ah well that was for the best”.

I told DH that he shouldn’t take it personally. That PIL aren’t really choosing their pride or name over their love for him and it is probably just misplaced love / jealously / hurt ?

What would you do in this situation? AIBU to not want us to change our surnames again to make PIL happy? AIBU to think we have changed our surname legally by getting married?

POP7777777 Wed 09-Jan-19 10:01:04

Bloody hell! Your PsIL sound insane!

FilthyforFirth Wed 09-Jan-19 10:01:06

Your PIL do sound batshit, so dont pander to them. But do you know that simply getting married doesnt automatically change your name right? Apologies if you do, it isnt clear from your OP.

We both changed our name after marriage and it does require a deed poll.

JanuarySnowdrops Wed 09-Jan-19 10:01:29

means we all shall be able to sit together on the Eurotunnel and makes sense for us all to travel together

If you're travelling in Eurotunnel you sit in your own vehicle anyway. smile

IdaBattersea Wed 09-Jan-19 10:01:48

I thought you said you haven’t changed passport in which case surely she’s booked correct name?

Sorry your DH so ill.

Your PIL are being ridiculous to go NC over this. Your MIL doesn’t sound very nice her comment about your MMC is awful.

JanuarySnowdrops Wed 09-Jan-19 10:02:39

...and yes, your PIL sound batshit.

Booboostwo Wed 09-Jan-19 10:03:04

Your ILs are being very unreasonable. A double barreled surname respects both your families and brings them together, I don't see why one person's surname should take precedence.

But yes I think legally you do need a deed poll and for things like airline tickets and Eurotunnel you do need the ticket to be in the name that is in your passport.

GhostSauce Wed 09-Jan-19 10:03:27

Why are they so bothered? OF course you're not going to get in trouble with the law.

Twickerhun Wed 09-Jan-19 10:03:38

You need to book travel under the name on your passport.

Marriage doesn’t automatically mean ounces legally double barrel your name - but I don’t think that’s a major issue. You can change by deedpoll still if you wish.

Your PIL are crazy!

ReflectentMonatomism Wed 09-Jan-19 10:04:12

I would say "fine, disown me" and leave them to stew for twelve months. But I have a very low tolerance for bullshit. Your mother in law sounds like a nasty bitch, and your father in law enables her.

Everything they say about deed polls and the law is bullshit, but you knew that.

SassitudeandSparkle Wed 09-Jan-19 10:04:46

Why didn't he tell them that he had changed his name? If she's booked the tickets in the names on your passport then that's OK, you wouldn't be able to travel if the names didn't match.

Weenurse Wed 09-Jan-19 10:04:59

No idea how to deal with this. Good luck💐

Grimbles Wed 09-Jan-19 10:05:35

Can you clarify, do the names on your tickets match the surnames on your passports? If so, then pil have acted correctly.

When I married I had 6 yrs to run on my passport so left it in my maiden name - we had to remember to book any overseas travel in my maiden name to avoid any issues at passport control.

Their reaction to the name thing is pretty insane though!

bigchris Wed 09-Jan-19 10:06:48


I thought you said you haven’t changed passport in which case surely she’s booked correct name*

Exactly what I was thinking!
Why you're going on holiday with them though is beyond me

SemperIdem Wed 09-Jan-19 10:07:27

But...she booked them in the right name? The one on your passports?

GemmeFatale Wed 09-Jan-19 10:07:31

Your name change doesn’t require a deed poll.

Your passports are valid, and in your legal names.

Your in laws are batshit crazy.

It doesn’t matter what name the tickets are in, surely you won’t be taking this trip, or any trip, with your in laws.

Don’t discuss it any further. If they raise it ‘our names are legally double barrelled, we are not discussing this further’. If they press leave/hang up/show them out.

I’m so sorry they decided to have this fight and not concentrate on the heath of their child. Hope things look up for you both soon

GoatFinger Wed 09-Jan-19 10:07:53

What's your passport name under. That's all it has to match.

pinkyredrose Wed 09-Jan-19 10:08:17

No you don't legally need a deed poll! It's perfectly legal to call yourself what you like. If your passports haven't been changed though then the tickets would need to be in the same name as your passports.

Maidofrohan Wed 09-Jan-19 10:08:27

I wouldn't change your surnames again just to please them. I'd also be raging at the fact that your MIL looked through her son's medical notes (she is NOT allowed to do that, as your DH is not her patient!). She/your ILs have no business in causing all this upset, particularly whilst your poor husband isn't well. You have enough to worry about!

I don't know the legalities about changing names, but AFAIK, you can put whatever surname you want on your child's birth certificate. Seek advice if you will, but for your own peace of mind.

Frankly, I think that your PIL and BIL have behaved outrageously and that you guys shouldn't give them any more of your time/contact until they have learned to wind their necks in. Call their bluff and go LC/NC for a while. I hope your husband has a speedy recovery

Piffle11 Wed 09-Jan-19 10:08:57

Don't make excuses for your PIL, they sound awful and unhinged. I'm pretty sure you can't just change your name legally without a deed poll, but I doubt you're in for the world of pain your FIL is predicting. And of course a man can change his name! I used to work in an office dealing with the public and the weird and wonderful names that came up … legally changed by deed poll. BIL's 'ethics' argument is laughable! If you give in to PIL now, you will be expected to give in to them forever. Put your foot down.

GemmeFatale Wed 09-Jan-19 10:09:01

Hang on, you haven’t changed your passports? That might be the source of the confusion

doublebarrelled Wed 09-Jan-19 10:09:38

Our passports are currently being processed to be changed to our double-barrelled name! We have changed them on everything else so far, bank, NHS, HRMC, Driving licence. So she has booked the tickets in the wrong name!

We wanted to ensure our surname was same as our DS for when we travel. My DM has had issues in the past (although tbf its pretty obvious where DS got his name from I guess!)

Nomorechickens Wed 09-Jan-19 10:09:42

Your ILs sound very unpleasant, making such a terrible fuss when your DH is ill.
I would check out the legal situation regarding name changes in general, passports, tickets etc for yourself
I wouldn't be taking into account the ILs opinions in any way or discussing it with them
Once you have the information you need, if necessary you can tell them what they need to do to change the names on the tickets. If they refuse, I wouldn't be going on holiday with them or paying for the tickets.
They need to mind their own business!

Billballbaggins Wed 09-Jan-19 10:09:58

Yeah if you haven’t changed your name on your passports then the tickets have to be in your ‘old’ name that’s on the passport anyway

NotANotMan Wed 09-Jan-19 10:10:01

Why would you go on holiday with people who hate you?!

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