Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

MNHQ have commented on this thread


Court order change child’s last name to mine

14 replies

Rocket2020 · 20/12/2019 19:12

Has anyone had a court order successfully granted to change their child’s name to theirs from their father’s?

He’s repeatedly abandoned my little boy, who is 3.5y and my last name is the only he knows. Introduces himself as it, recognises it written, can do some of the letters, says we’re the [redacted] family, knows mum is grandma [redacted]

Deed polled it successfully back in April as AC was uncontactable.

We are going to court about it (in Scotland). I’m terrified about how destabilising it will be if I had to upset his sense of identity by telling him he hasn’t got the last name of everyone he sees and knows.

Has anyone either succeeded or lost a court order to change their child’s last name? What were the factors the court used to decide?

[Post edited by MNHQ]

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Greywalls12 · 20/12/2019 19:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rocket2020 · 20/12/2019 19:41

How do I do edit?

OP posts:

ClaraMumsnet · 20/12/2019 19:47

We've edited the OP for you, removing the identifying details.


Rocket2020 · 20/12/2019 19:51

Thank you!

OP posts:

Onelovelyone · 21/12/2019 03:14

I’m not sure I have a very helpful answer but I totally understand your rationale in not wanting to change it from the name he knows himself by. If that is the name he identifies with then it’s a challenge to alter it. I don’t know what a court would do in relation to this but, if for whatever reason it doesn’t go your way, could you mitigate it by adding your surname in (as a double-barrelled surname) so that it is still part of his identity and what he is used to? I hope all goes as smoothly as it can with your court date.


changedtempforprivacy · 21/12/2019 06:46

I split from my ex husband who now lives abroad during pregnancy and gave my daughter my surname for this reason (I had not changed my name on marriage), my family are very involved.
Whatever happens legally with your case, your child can be known as whatever you choose, for example at school/nursery which will be the big one at this age - so contact them, explain the situation and fill in their paperwork accordingly, as once he is on their computer system it may be hard to change it.
If the name is important to you, you can easily reinforce this - buy him personalised bags personalised with his full name...couple of the school friends with really hard to spell names have done this for their children and it's such a good idea as seeing the usual spelling several times a day the othe4 children will eventually get it right!
I have no advice in the legalities of Scottish law - do you have any legal representation? Sometimes this is available through unlikely sources like you are to covered by trade union membership or house instance.
For me , personally, giving my child my surname rather than the surname of her father who I was still married to, was a feminist decision too...fortunately my ex husband is of a similar feminist persuasion and knew he wouldn't be much involved in raising her having returned to her home country and so was in agreement. Unfortunately oe you there is still the contrary view prevalnt that men have a right to have their parentage reflected in their child's naming...or discus the case legally in England..


jocktamsonsbairn · 21/12/2019 07:18

I have recently been in the same situation although my DC were older. I changed their surnames on the school roll, at doctors, dentists etc so they have been known as my surname for years. However they still had north surname on official documents. I went to see a solicitor (in Scotland) who said in a court the sherif might be reluctant to stop the connection to dad even though he hasn't seen them (his choice) for20 years.
In the end we just used birth surname for passports etc and were able to open bank accounts in my surname as they just needed a letter from school to confirm name and address.
They then legally changed their surnames for £30 when they hit 16. Only issue we ever had was when DD got stopped at passport control and gave the wrong name! So just use your surname and don't put yourself through the expense of court.


Decidewhattobeandgobeit · 21/12/2019 08:08

It’s not hard to change a name once on school computer system as a previous poster mentioned. As a teacher we often get emails saying X child has changed their name from Y to Z. Don’t worry about the school.


FineWordsForAPorcupine · 21/12/2019 08:57

I’m terrified about how destabilising it will be if I had to upset his sense of identity by telling him he hasn’t got the last name of everyone he sees and knows

OK, I think you are catastrophising a bit. He is three and a half. It's not going to "destabilise his sense of identity" and you don't need to be "terrified".

Kids don't need to have "the last name of everyone they see and know". That's...nuts. For example, I don't have the same surname as the majority of my family - and I am named very traditionallly, ie : my parents are married and my mother took my father's name. So I have the same name as my parents, and my paternal grandparents. But I don't have the same name as my aunts and cousins on that side, or anyone else on my mother's side. And yet (magically) I am able to comprehend that they are still my family.

This is not a crisis. It's going to be a pain to sort out, a lot of tedious admin, but the worst outcome is that your son ends up with a "legal" surname that he doesn't use much, and a "known as" surname that he does use. Then at 18 he can choose to change it, or not.

Try to stop thinking of the name as your exes - it is now the name of your DS, and he is his own person. You gave it to him for a reason, try to remember what that was.


Namelessinseattle · 21/12/2019 09:05

To be fair finewordsforaporcupine, you have the same name as both your parents and presumably your brothers and sisters. I'd say that's the majority if not your entire family. So not a great comparison to a child with a different name to their mum who doesn't have contact with his dads family.


FineWordsForAPorcupine · 21/12/2019 09:15

I hear what you're saying - the point I was making is that the OP is catastrophising by saying "he hasn’t got the last name of everyone he sees and knows". I was pointing out that even in the most traditional setup, no kid has the last name of EVERYONE he knows. I think the OP is being a bit dramatic.


beyondtheshed · 21/12/2019 09:22

I work in a school and this happens quite a lot. You can change your child's name by deed poll, which you've already done - although if we were going to split hairs, in order to be totally legal, the deed poll document needs to be signed by both parents with parental responsibility - and a parent has parental responsibility if they are named on the birth certificate.

At my school, we ask mums to sign a document saying that they have sole parental responsibility if they give us a deed poll only signed by themselves and not dad. This then allows us to change the child's 'legal' surname on the system.

If you don't want to do that, then you child can use your surname as their 'preferred' surname until they are 16, at which point they can get a deed poll document off the internet themselves for about £30 as a previous poster said. They then sign that themselves and can legally change their own name.


TwoOddSocks · 21/12/2019 09:26

If you're his main carer and his dad is barely around it would be ridiculous for him to have this man's last name. Good luck OP.


coragreta · 21/12/2019 09:34

My name was changed when I was 6. Court ordered to change it back. I was never told it was changed back and caused no end of problems from passport, marriage licence, jobs etc.
Keep his original name as on his birth certificate as that causes the least trouble in later life.
Also kids are very adaptable, the same as explaining although you call them belle their actual name is Annabelle for example.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?