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Changing a child's surname.. What are the chances?

(45 Posts)
ChangedJustForThisYo Mon 03-Aug-15 22:17:07


I have a DS who isn't my fiance's biologically (in every other way he is his father) DS has ALWAYS had my surname and NEVER his bio dad's. Bio dad didn't have PR until DS was nearly 2 before he was granted PR I changed both our surnames to my grandfathers.

Bio dad, despite NOT having PR at the time doesn't like this and never has, tried to get DS's passport due to not being in the original name cancelled ect.

DS is now nearly 4, had contact via courts 4 times in a centre, supervised. There is NO application to date despite many threats to go to court for contact.

My DP has been in DS's life since he was 1, we have another DS together and currently both DS's have my surname. We're due to get married and want everyone to have DP's surname.

Now I know I could change it without his consent and it wouldn't be legal but we also know that DS's bio dad would outright refuse to agree to the change despite never having his surname to begin with.

If we take it to court what are the chances of the name change being granted?

bio dad:
pay's via the CSA due to me starting the claim (didn't pay for the first 8 months of his life)
has indirect contact (a photo every 3 months via a promise to the court)


Pays for DS as well
lives with us
will be marrying me
raised him since he was 1
is the dad of his brother

we want him to have the same name as the rest of us

ChangedJustForThisYo Mon 03-Aug-15 22:53:42

bio dad also has an undertaking for a non-mol and was violent which was documented with the gp and used as evidence to get legal aid in past cases

PelvicFloorClenchReminder Mon 03-Aug-15 22:57:35

Could your fiance change his name to yours and your DS's?

Fizrim Mon 03-Aug-15 23:02:02

Have you already changed his surname once then? From whatever your name was to your grandfathers?

ChangedJustForThisYo Mon 03-Aug-15 23:05:29

Pelvic Fiance really doesn't want to change his name, we'd even take double barrelling to be honest.


Yes I had my fathers name, have non contact with him and my grandfather was the father figure so when he died we changed our surname to his to keep his name going IYSWIM?

Rainicorn Mon 03-Aug-15 23:06:20

I was going to suggest same as Pelvic. That would save a lot of agro.

NewLife4Me Mon 03-Aug-15 23:14:40

Me too.
Also going to suggest same as Pelvic.

Fizrim Mon 03-Aug-15 23:33:43

Bio dad could object - usually they (courts) would be unwilling to break the link with the bio parent's name (especially in such a young child) but as there has never been a link, I'm not sure - is there any way you could check with a solicitor?

I changed my surname in my late teens (also n/c with father). I know your son is young and may not remember, but three surnames seems a lot at four. I can see why other posters are asking your fiance to change his as he's the only one with a different name - you and the children already match and all have the same name.

ChangedJustForThisYo Tue 04-Aug-15 00:05:51

I was advised to change my surname move, and shut down all communication like emails ect from the police as he was stalking and harassing me. He also has a harassment warning notice served upon him

AlisonBlunderland Tue 04-Aug-15 00:14:20

It would be good to get any name change sorted before ds1 starts school

Cabrinha Tue 04-Aug-15 20:16:08

Tough shit for your fiancé I say.

It's easier all round to take yours. And you have a lovely reason for yours, honouring a good grandfather.

Why won't he just change his?

ChangedJustForThisYo Tue 04-Aug-15 20:23:35

Because he is the only male in the family, he wants to continue his family name down the line and we're done having children s

Fizrim Tue 04-Aug-15 20:32:01

If he wants to continue his name, why did you give your child your name and not his? Is it your fiancé who is pushing for this?

ChangedJustForThisYo Tue 04-Aug-15 20:38:41

My children have my surname as we're not yet married and I don't want them having separate surnames. I didn't want a DS Smith and a DS Jones.

No we both want this.

Cabrinha Tue 04-Aug-15 20:38:48

And your family name doesn't count? Despite you choosing it so specifically? Yours was a choice, his just what he was given.

Carrying his name down the line? Did I just wake up in Downton Abbey?!

Even if your ex was perfectly amenable, I think your fiancé has a bit of a cheek tbh. His name is nothing to do with you, yet you would take it. Why can't he do you the same courtesy? Is your family line not worthy of continuing their name? confused

I'm a divorced parent myself. I'd never change my child's name to a step parent's. Many marriages aren't forever, though of course I hope yours is. Are you going to change it back if you divorce?

Just keep your name!

Cabrinha Tue 04-Aug-15 20:41:12

Oh! I thought I was still in Chat. Not Legal! Not the place for giving opinions - sorry smile

ChangedJustForThisYo Tue 04-Aug-15 21:37:49

Of course mine does count. Yes he was "just given" his but he still loves his surname, I love mine as well. Ideally we'd double barrel the names but the boys both have double barrelled first names!

I don't see how he has the cheek! if I asked him to change his it wouldn't be seen as a cheek at all, both our names are worth continuing imo.

He wants our son to have a part of his surname but I don't want for example Ds Smith, DS Smith-Jones, DP Jones and DP Smith.

I also would like to tie us all in with the same name.

ChangedJustForThisYo Tue 04-Aug-15 21:39:12

I also understand that you wouldn't change it to any step parents last name but this is the man who has raised him practically all his life, he knows no other father figure.

Solasum Tue 04-Aug-15 21:48:00

Could you not call both boys Smith Jones, without a hyphen? Then they could use both names or one.

PotteringAlong Tue 04-Aug-15 21:51:53

If get my partner to change his babe if it means that much; if nothing else to avoid my DS having had 3 different surnames in 4 years.

WaitingForFrostyMornings Tue 04-Aug-15 22:00:02

I don't know whether this still stands as it was around 6 years ago but my step-son just used his step dads name in day to day living including through school however his passport could only be issued in my DH surname. His mum was advised this was the easiest way to do it until he was old enough himself to express an opinion to the courts about which name he used himself (around 10 years old).

Alternatively your husband can adopt him and just go to court and say you believe it's in his best interest having the same surname as his sibling. However adopting him will mean any child support paid by your ex will stop.

Alanna1 Tue 04-Aug-15 22:04:25

I think your fiance should just take your name too. You could always put his name as a middle name for your DC together.

Otherwise I think you should talk to a family law solicitor. As far as I know courts are reluctant to change surnames. I can see why your ExP might object strongly to his son taking your new DP's name.

ChangedJustForThisYo Tue 04-Aug-15 22:39:06

Even if both boys were to be double barrelled or both surnames he'd have to consent.

My dp doesn't want to loose his surnames (as is his right!) and I don't want to loose mine. Both of our surnames means a lot to us both so that doesn't work.

For my fiancé to adopt him bio dad would have to consent which he will not! I don't really care about Money

Our DS together already has 4 names (two first names, 1 middle, 1 surname) we don't really want to add another surname.

We're looking at this as a LEGAL point of view, not whether you'd do it or not

Bellemere Wed 05-Aug-15 08:55:01

It's unlikely, from the case law that I've read. Please do not just change it without following the correct legal process. Your ex would be well within his rights to take you court to stop you using an unofficial name which would be confusing for your son. He could also then make his own application for your son to have his surname, perhaps double barrelled with yours, and as your son has a biological link to his father, this is more likely to succeed.

Bellemere Wed 05-Aug-15 08:58:11

This link might help you.

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