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Divorce and changing DS's last name. (long, sorry!)

(47 Posts)
bettyboo26 Sat 16-May-09 22:22:57


Would really appreciate some advice please.

Apologies in advance for this being so long!

Split with (D!)h about 10 months ago and want to start divorce proceedings.
No idea where to start!

We have a house in joint names with very little (if any) equity in it and an overdraft on a joint account. Also have a loan to a family member that I have been paying back since we seperated. (We took the loan so we were able to buy the house!)
I currently live in the house with DS and would like to remain here, if at all possible.

I think I would like to go back to my maiden name but was wondering if I would beable to double-barral DS's last name so we have the last same name(ish!)

Any advice will be so gratefully recieved.

Thanks in advance

CarGirl Sat 16-May-09 22:24:56

You can't officially change his name by deed poll without his Dads consent.

bettyboo26 Sat 16-May-09 22:34:37

I would defo get (soon to be) ExH consent because I want to do it by deed poll.
Do you think it's important that we (DS and I) share the same last name?
I feel funny being called Mrs .... now

CarGirl Sat 16-May-09 22:37:58

Do you really think he would consent? Would you if it were the other way around?

I carried on being called Mrs X until I remarried.

bettyboo26 Sat 16-May-09 22:43:05

I hope he would. I'm not suggesting Ds loses his Dads last name but just combines it with mine.
Maybe he wouldn't agree. Suppose that would make my decision harder.
So you stayed being called Mrs? Not Ms?
Its a bloody mind field.
Thanks for replying CarGirl

KingCanuteIAm Sat 16-May-09 22:47:06

Is there a good reason for changing your name? I needed to change mine as I did not want any association to illegal acts committed. If it had just been a break up I would have continued to use my married name simply because it saves a bit of the upheaval ad change for the dcs involved.

Assuming you are set on changing your name, rather than considering a double barrel consider adding your maiden name as an additional middle name.

IME fathers do not like to have their childs name changed (and I wouldn't either, I understand where they are coming from) and tend to object because they have a perfectly reasonable veto. Having your name as a second name means, when written down, the name looks double barreled without the -. You and your child can decide whether to use the originl name the new name or a combination of both.

From your Exs POV the childs name remains intact and what you are asking for is not a massive deal, they would look fairly churlish to say no and it is something that can be bargained over, whereas changing a last name is not really.

CarGirl Sat 16-May-09 22:49:32

I just stayed being a Mrs and my married surname.

Guess it's a personal decision. But if you change your name now and then get remarried at some point in the future then you have to change it again IYSWIM too much hassle tbh.

bettyboo26 Sun 17-May-09 09:14:31

Thanks for the replies.

Suppose your right about ExH probably not going for changing DS's last name.
Would probably sound odd if I added my maiden name as a middle name as he already has 2!
No particular reason for me wanting to change except for the fact that I don't really want to be associated with Ex as his wife iyswim.
But if it meant me having a totally different name from DS then I probably wouldn't bother.
Perhaps I'll just become a Ms.

Any advice about divorce/house?

Thanks again

thesilverlining Sun 17-May-09 19:14:13

i have had nightmares over glad I perservered tho - think about what happens when you remarry or have more children?......explain to your ex that could he please consider double barrelling on account of the fact you may go on in the future to remarry or have other children and you don't ever want DC to feel not part of the gang so to speak.

I know lots of double barrelled children - so there are lots of guys out there who will consider DB - if you approach it right it should be a reasonable request to him....

house - hmmmm get some legal advice - seriously - with a good solicitor or mediation you may well be able to use the fact you have been paying the loan back to family for the deposit that you may have more right to the house - but get proper advice!


bettyboo26 Sun 17-May-09 19:36:48

Thanks silverlining.

I think it will all rest on how I approach ExH regarding DS's surname.
Could do with him thinking it was his idea wink

Think it is time I sought some legal advice regarding divorce/house etc. Just all seems like such a minefield and to be honest, I've been putting it off! (been enjoying the quiet, simple life)
Will be all worth it when it's sorted though.hmm

lostdad Mon 18-May-09 08:28:31

The bottom line is that if your ex has PR you cannot change your ds' name without his written permission. You can take the matter to court if you wish, but unless there are exceptional circumstances you will be refused and probably receive a dressing down. Courts consider names an important link to the paternal family.

In addition, it is illegal to `cause' a child to be known by a different name - i.e. you can't tell schools, doctors, etc. that his `official' name is one thing, but you'd prefer he is called something else.

I'm aware several people do this and I'm aware that even some schools allow this sort of thing - but it is illegal and should your ex take matters to court, you will be the one answering to this, not them.

By all means - discuss this with your ex. He may be happy to agree to your proposals, but please be aware of the above.

bettyboo26 Mon 18-May-09 10:44:27

Thanks lostdad.

I too think that my childs surname is an important link to his paternal family but feel that it is also important that we too share a name (especially for when he is at school etc).

There is no way I would persue this matter without EXH full consent. ie- the court route. I am trying to keep things as amicable as possible and if he was truely opposed to the idea then I would have to accept this and would probably keep my married name so DS and I share a name.

lostdad Mon 18-May-09 16:00:36

I'm not being funny here - but if it was important, why didn't you give your ds a double-barrelled name before you split?

I'm just curious. Your ds is still the same person he was before you split. How does this change things?

What would you do if you married again? Not take your new husband's name because you'd have a different name to your son again? Or change his one again?

Not being funny - just curious.

GypsyMoth Mon 18-May-09 16:10:08

when you're on your own with the kids lostdad,all sorts of vulnerabilities can surface....they weren't there before. but in this day and age where there is so much importance placed on identity and proving who you are etc,its not unreasonable that some documented proof that you are kin to your child also,would make things more reassuring. to have two separate names with no link makes for constant explaining.

i personally kept my exp's surname. and stayed a mrs. new partner not too happy,but have 4 dc with the ex,all in school,so felt happier keeping that link. suppose it becomes less important as they get older.

Niceguy2 Mon 18-May-09 16:20:22

My kids took my name when they were born. I never married the ex so she's always had a different surname. In thirteen years, do you know how many times she's been asked to "prove" her relationship?

Never, none, not once. So I would say in my experience it makes no difference.

Curiously I was once told I wasn't allowed to sign for my son's operation unless I proved I had PR but my ex's word that she was their mum was simply good enough.

In fact your argument about having to prove you are a kin doesn't hold water as if you change your childs name to your maiden name then all you do is then shift the problem to your exH.

In this day and age a mum having a different surname is so common that it shouldn't cause you any problems at all!

If its that important that you share the same name with your son then the simplest thing to do is to keep your married name rather than forcibly change your son's.

lostdad Mon 18-May-09 16:27:57

ILoveTIFFANY - I have the same surname as my son. That hasn't stopped:

1.) Me being told by a practice manager I need my ex's written permission to be listed as an emergency contact at my son's doctor's surgery.

2.) Me being told by a PCT manager I need my ex's written permission to be listed as an emergency contact at my son's doctor's surgery.

3.) Me being told by a preschool manager I need my ex's written permission to be listed as an emergency contact.

And much, much more.

And yes...I have PR and a right to all the above. That and having the same surname has meant nothing.

lostdad Mon 18-May-09 16:30:21

...and the above has happened after I have provided a copy of my ds' birth certificate, a copy of my passport and printed documentation proving that I have PR and the above are statutory rights I have been denied as a parent.

It hurts being told by a total stranger that I have no rights as a parent. And believe me, it happens all the time and having the same surname means jack s**t.

bronze Mon 18-May-09 16:30:33

Could you double barrel yours instead. Dont think of it as yourname-exhname but yourname-sonsname

seeker Mon 18-May-09 16:33:35

We are a 3 last name family - I am myname, dp is hisname and the dcs are myname-hisname.

It has never, ever been the slightest problem or inconvenience. No one has ever questioned it, or caused any difficulty.

GypsyMoth Mon 18-May-09 16:34:14

lostdad....i have heard of this before,which is why i thought a link to both parents name would be a good idea

years ago when i was a nanny i was stopped at the airport as i was travelling with a child with a different surname. luckily i was able to prove the situation quickly,and we caught our flight.....that has kind of "stuck" with me

lostdad Mon 18-May-09 16:47:15

I can only speak from personal experience ILoveTIFFANY - having an identical surname as my ds (and middle name too, come to think of it) has meant nothing, that's all.

BigusBumus Mon 18-May-09 16:59:44

When i divorced fom DS1s dad i wanted to go back to my maiden name straight away as its a name that means a lot to me, being the name of my late father whom i adored. My husband hadn't seen his father since age 11 when he ran off with someone else. So i figured why would i want a name from a man i had never met and who wasn't much of a dad to my husband, and of course i would far rather have my own dad's name.

My son is happy with this as i say, "Unless you're married you have the same name as your dad", as he does and so do i.

The problem is that now i also have another son with my DP, and he also has his dad's surname. So i have one, DS1 has another and DS2 has another name. (I'm one classy lady! ha!)

When DP and i get married i will take his name, and therefore be the same as DS2, but DS1 will always have a different name to me. We gave our dog DS1s surname (IYKWIM) though and he was thrilled!

bettyboo26 Mon 18-May-09 18:19:09

lostdad- I didn't double barral DS's name at birth because tbh, I didn't think Ex and I would split up and was more than happy to take my husbands name. hmm
I am not suggesting I change DS's surname to just mine but to include it, so that what ever happens in the future, we would always have the same last name(ish).
If I ever remarried, I would obviously double barral my name aswell.

Bronze- a good idea about double barreling my name, defo worth considering. Thanks for that.

Just so hard to know what is best in the long term for DS.

Thank you all for your input, its very much appreciated.

samk9000 Sat 13-Jun-09 09:50:09

hi, i managed to change my sons last name by statuary declaration. i made the mistake of putting my ex's surname on birth certificate when he was born. after we split i wanted to change my sons surname ( by deed poll) back to mine but ex woundnt agree, so i contacted the people who do birth registrations and she told me that i could do get a statuary declaration, which is a legal document and i could use that. if you really want to do it i would say do it now as your child is still young. my son was about 7 months when i done it, it was easier as there wasnt too many people to contact to change his name. hope this is helpfull to you. good luck xxx

ellingwoman Sat 13-Jun-09 10:05:36

DS can be known by any name you want. As long as chidren are registered in their official name at doctors, schools etc you can ask for them to be 'known' by another. Our school have a few children in this situation. Would that be good enough?

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