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To consider changing my childrens surnames?

96 replies

Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 09:17

So I have a weird situation…
When I married my ex husband, I took his surname as I hated my surname because it tied me to my abusive father.

Ex husband is the father to my three children, so they also have the same surname. We are now divorced and both remarrying. My ex husband is considering taking his fiancés surname as he doesn’t want any ties with his toxic family and would prefer not to have the same surname as them, as obviously o don’t want to keep my ex husbands surname when I marry again 😬

The problem is that if I take another surname…[not sure whether I will take my mothers surname/my new husbands surname/ double barrel my mums and husbands surnames yet but I know I do not want my old (fathers) surname or my ex husbands]…and my ex takes his new wife’s surname, then my three children will have a am that nobody else has??

My ex has said he doesn’t care what I change their surnames to…but I genuinely am stuck with what to do.

We are also expecting a baby which will have my fiancés surname so will be different to my other children again.

congratulations if you got this far 😂😂 and pleaaaaase can i get some opinions because I’m super confused right now 😬

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

44 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
TheGrimSqueakersFlea · 30/09/2022 09:39

I have my dad's surname, my mum uses her own name and my siblings have their dad's surname. I don't share a name with my children either and We've never felt like we're not a family because we don't share a name. Let the children decide but don't make it a big deal because it really isn't

OverTheHillAndDownTotherSide · 30/09/2022 09:43

It’s YOUR name. Not your father’s. Not your ex-husbands. Yours. I’d you want to change it, that’s fine, but women’s names aren’t on loan from men.

Jizzle · 30/09/2022 09:46

I really don't see the issue. My husband and I both have different surnames, and our children have a different surname again. Doesn't mean we are any less of a family, the whole idea of a shared name always felt weird to me anyway.

Brieeeeeeeee · 30/09/2022 09:47

If it were me I’d pick a brand new surname that I liked the sound of - no connection to family of origin, ex husband, or future husband. Change the existing children’s names to that, doubled with their current surname if they wish; change own name to the new surname; new baby has that name & also its father’s surname. Then don’t change again.

ColadhSamh · 30/09/2022 09:48

Can you change the children's surname without their Dad's permission?

Tomorrowisalatterday · 30/09/2022 09:49

eyeteevee · 30/09/2022 09:38

i feel like maybe changing mine and my childrens name to my mums surname and then possibly double barrel when I get married would be the best option?

Change it to your mums name but don't change it again. There is no need to double barrel, you can just have the same name as your children without changing it for yet another man. What happens if it doesn't work out, do you change their names again?

No. Get one name for you and your children and keep it.

This is exactly what I would do.

You already know how messy this gets when you change names.

Change to your mum's name, change your existing children's names to the same, give your new baby the same, don't change it again. Your fiance can take your name if he wants or keep his if he prefers

Nettl · 30/09/2022 09:50

I don’t have the same surname as my children and it is a non-issue, they have never even mentioned it (now teenagers). It’s pretty common these days. I think that you are overthinking this, changing surnames, getting kids names tattooed on you etc is not important. The connection is built through the relationship and how they are treated. You can’t keep changing their names every time you get married. I would personally not change their names and also not change your name.

Corrosive · 30/09/2022 09:51

I'm not sure asking the kids was a great idea as they might feel it's some sort of loyalty test. If you and your ex are still parenting together ok and if he is still a good Dad can you canoe up with something together. I'd make up a new name and I'd get the kids to choose. I'd use that for the new baby too.

It's tricky if one kid is unsure about changing their name though. If they don't want to then it seems a bit off to push it.

Whadda · 30/09/2022 09:52

Chances of divorce with second marriages is even higher than with first marriages, so what would you do if you went on to divorce your second husband- change all four children to your next boyfriend’s name?

Poor kids. Let them keep their names- sounds like they’ve been through a lot of change in a very short time and even a little bit of consistency would be good.

MimiSunshine · 30/09/2022 09:53

If the kids were happy to change names I would change yours and theirs to your mums birth surname and then double barrel with your fiancé when you marry and do the same for the baby.

as you’ve had children in sure you’re aware that the baby’s hospital ID bracelets and records will be created in your surname so if that’s still the same as your ex ‘s at the time the baby will be known initially as Baby Exname. Do you want that? If not id change your name asap and update your hospital records.

lunar1 · 30/09/2022 09:54

Leave your childrens names as the are. What if you split up with this partner, would you change it again?

It's a pain on forms having changed your name. If they want to change them themselves when they are adults then the can.

wellhelloitsme · 30/09/2022 09:56

Change you and the kids' names to something you like, your fiancé can take that same name when you marry (there's no reason you should take his name rather than his taking yours) and the new baby can have it too.

Then you, the kids and your fiancé have the same name without double barrelling etc.

I can't see an issue with that plan?

wellhelloitsme · 30/09/2022 09:57

wellhelloitsme · 30/09/2022 09:56

Change you and the kids' names to something you like, your fiancé can take that same name when you marry (there's no reason you should take his name rather than his taking yours) and the new baby can have it too.

Then you, the kids and your fiancé have the same name without double barrelling etc.

I can't see an issue with that plan?

And this way if you and your fiancé split afterwards your children have a name that originated from you and not him, so no need to ever change again - which would be madness tbh!

TugboatAnnie · 30/09/2022 09:58

OverTheHillAndDownTotherSide · 30/09/2022 09:33

This is why women should keep their names/change their names to something they like and name their children that. All this switching and changing in order to accommodate men’s names is ridiculous.

Absolutely. All this 'I hated my father/ my name is unpronounceable' etc Well change your name as soon as you are able by deed poll, not wait for another man's name!
Op, take your mum's surname (or choose another) for you and the children and future children. If you marry, either your husband can take the same name as the rest of you or you keep separate ones. So sensible and enduring.

Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 10:01

@Rovinonmars yeah i think that option makes most sense to me tbh

OP posts:
TheBoxOfWhat · 30/09/2022 10:04

If you are trying to avoid being traced by your abusive father then don't use your Mum's maiden name, surely that is also a family connection.

I would choose a whole new name for your 3 children and yourself, then decide if you want to double barrel that for your unborn child upon marriage to your fiance.

pigsducksandchickens · 30/09/2022 10:04

The biggest issue is the child's age. If you have 1-3, maybe. If they're older, I think it's a bad idea, because the children will be used to their name and likely 'identify' with it.

Cobblers! I changed my DD to my new husband's when she was 6 and she barely noticed, nor did her friends after a very short while. They don't identify with a surname at that age. First name yes, because that is what they hear all the time. How often does a child actually hear their surname compared to first name?

warofthemonstertrucks · 30/09/2022 10:06

Give the two that want it your fiancés name and the one that doesn't double barrel your fiancés and whatever they currently have so they keep their Identity but also have the same name in part as the rest of you.

Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 10:15

Ok there’s a few very passive aggressive comments in here 😂 so let me just clear up the situation…
I have raised the children on my own…even when their dad was around and I was married to him, he was not involved. It was an emotionally abusive relationship and i finally got the courage to end it when my third child was born.

I took my ex husbands name to further myself from my physically abusive father…I’m hindsight I would have just changed my name to my mums surname and avoided this entire situation, but what’s done is done.

My children have always had a very stable home life with me and not been moved around anywhere…they couldnt have cared less when their dad loved out of our home and my eldest actually said he was pleased because now “mummy wouldn’t be shouted at anymore”

They have barely anything to do with their dad apart from the odd visit and they have stayed at his house a few weekends in the past few years.

Their dad has said he doesn’t care what surname the children have

I am not swapping and changing names for the fun of it, as I say in hindsight I would just have given us all my mums name but I wasn’t in the best mindset when making that decision. I do not want their dads name and the children have always said they want the same name as me hence me asking the question.

I think the best option so far is to change my name to my mums and my childrens to my mums(if they want to) and double barrel the new baby’s name.

We are a very happy close family and the children are not at all stressed by the changing of names discussion at all they thought it was funny and were joking around with name options. The one that didn’t want to change her name only said that as she wasn’t a fan of any of the available options 😂 and would prefer something with a little more pizazz 😂

OP posts:
warofthemonstertrucks · 30/09/2022 10:18

Names and feelings around them are weird aren't they? I didn't change mine when I got married to ex h but our kids have his, not mine as he kicked up about having mine in their name for whatever reason They have always wanted mine too and we are in the process of changing theirs to be double barrelled with mine and ex h's (that they already have, at their request)

I'm now getting married again and will change my name (well I will double barrel it with DP's). Oldest Dd (17) has got the hump about it even though she will have my name for the first time and so will I still, (but double barrelled with different surnames). So I will be war smith-jones for example and she will be DDsmith-clarke.

Other DD, 15 wants my name but doesn't care at all that I'm adding DP's to mine.

DP has got the hump that his ex wife kept his name, presumably as she wants to be the same as their kids.

I can't get exorcised about it really (I just like the sound of my name double barrelled with DP's and that way I will have the same name as my DD's in part for the first time and my new husband and step sons in the other part-which all reflects our blended family)

WonderingMum2 · 30/09/2022 10:24

It should be your ex sorting this, not you. He’s changing his name from that of his childrens. Surely he should at least double barrel so that they retain that link? Lots of mothers (myself included) have different names to their kids and I’ve never had a problem. But that was my name before marriage . But your ex is making a deliberate decision to change

Tomorrowisalatterday · 30/09/2022 10:24

Why double barrel the baby's name? Wouldn't it be easier for the baby to also have the same name as your other kids?

You could put fiance's name in as a middle name if you want. It just seems to make things more complicated than needs to be


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Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 10:33

@warofthemonstertrucks yeah see I also like the sound of the double barrel but idk if it would make my situation even more complicated 😂 my kids just want the same name as me and genuinely don’t care about keeping their dads name

@WonderingMum2 getting my ex to sort literally anything is a huge struggle unfortunately and it boils down to me every time 🙄🙄

@Tomorrowisalatterday tbh it’s only because it’s my fiancés first baby and it’s just really important to him that the baby has his surname somewhere…just for sentimental purposes where as I’m not bothered either way…I just know the kids would want to have a similar name to the new baby 🙄 this is why it’s getting complicated haha

OP posts:
wibblewobbleball · 30/09/2022 10:35

My mum changed my name when she remarried and I have honestly always hated that she did. I was about 10. It's not nice having to explain that it wasn't your original name and explain the family reasons why. Just let your children keep the name they were born with.

BadNomad · 30/09/2022 10:41

Give the new baby your fiancés name as a middle name then. Don't take another man's name for you and your children. Pick a name for your family, anyone who wants to join your family can take on that name if they want.

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