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Changing children's surname

(15 Posts)
Ilikefrogs Thu 09-Jul-15 11:31:13

I have 2DC under 5 and have just got divorced. I don't want keep ex's surname but don't want to have a different name from my boys. Ex won't agree to change it by deed poll but can I change it on everything else without his permission? Don't know if it's relevant but he does have contact with them each week and pays maintenance but I'm their primary carer. Thanks!

titchy Thu 09-Jul-15 11:48:47

No you cannot unilaterally decide to change their name, any more than he can.

Goldmandra Thu 09-Jul-15 11:54:18

I think you need to just give yourself some time to process recent events and come to terms with your new normal.

Changing your children's surnames without their father's permission and, therefore, not doing it properly will cause lots of needless conflict and confusion. The repercussions could be very long lasting and unpleasant for your boys.

I know it feels uncomfortable right now but I think this is something that you will get used to and it will feel OK in the future.

Ilikefrogs Thu 09-Jul-15 18:16:12

Thanks Goldmandra I know it'll get easier but he was a massive twat while we were married so it's still a bit raw.
Can I use my surname for school etc?

Bellemere Thu 09-Jul-15 18:18:39

No. You cannot legally use a different name for your child anywhere unless you have the permission of everyone who holds Parental Responsibility or have a court order allowing you to do so. Undoubtedly people will comment later saying they have done that. It is possible, it is not legal. It would also be frowned upon if you later end up in court about this or any other child related matter.

Meloria Thu 09-Jul-15 19:35:52

Maybe he doesn't want to have a different name from his children?

PotteringAlong Thu 09-Jul-15 19:38:02

Why should you just change their surname? What if they want to have their fathers surname when they're older? It's not yours to change!

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 09-Jul-15 19:41:35

No - as set out, you can't just unilaterally change their names

He sounds like an involved father and I think, going forward, it's best to consider what is in the DCs' best interests. What really struck me about your post was it was all related to do with what you wanted to do.

Collaborate Thu 09-Jul-15 20:13:59

Agree with all the previous posters. Your decision will depend on which of your "wants" you want more. If you want more to have the same name as your kids, keep yours, otherwise change it.

My wife and I are happily married She has never taken my name. My kids have my surname, but her name as a middle name. She wouldn't understand why you have an issue with it. It won't be that bad. In fact, it won't be bad at all.

Nolim Thu 09-Jul-15 20:21:14

My dc and i have different surname and there is no problem.

mynewpassion Thu 09-Jul-15 22:29:46

Don't involve the school with this name change nonsense.

Goldmandra Thu 09-Jul-15 22:59:25

Can I use my surname for school etc?

I wouldn't do that.

I understand that he has been a twat. He's probably made you and maybe his children miserable but their surname isn't his; it's theirs too. By trying to use a different name at school you would be giving them complications to deal with in the future that they could well do without and for no real benefit.

If you were successful, what would happen when they are older if your ExH puts pressure on them to start using their real name? Do you want them feeling torn between hurting you and hurting him?

Also, if you try using a different name and your ExH manages to intervene and prevent it, you're going to feel even worse.

There are things that need to happen when a relationship breakdown involves children and they are generally things that are of clear benefit to the children. This isn't. It's for you, not them.

I feel for you and I understand exactly where you're coming from but you just need to let this go. Their name is theirs, not his. Try to find a way to accept that it isn't going to change and concentrate on the things that are really important.

Don't forget that you get to be their main carer. That is worth a myriad surnames.

prh47bridge Thu 09-Jul-15 23:25:52

By trying to use a different name at school you would be giving them complications to deal with

If the school follows DfE guidance properly they won't allow you to use a different name unless you can show that you have either the consent of everyone with PR or a court order allowing you to change your children's names.

Ilikefrogs Fri 10-Jul-15 09:07:33

Thanks everyone. I suppose I am thinking about how it makes me feel, rather than how they might feel when they get older. It's hard having that reminder though.

mynewpassion Fri 10-Jul-15 13:00:59

See the children as they are not their surname.

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