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AIBU?

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 😬

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Am I being unreasonable?

44 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
55%
You are NOT being unreasonable
45%
Ihaventgottimeforthis · 30/09/2022 12:28

Brand new name with a bit of pizazz for everyone option for me too

Your new husband can also choose that name, perhaps retain his name as a middle name for him and the new baby if he needs a link

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lunar1 · 30/09/2022 13:09

Your children aren't really old enough to competently make this decision for themselves. So many children also answer with whatever they think will make their parent happy.

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JacquelineCarlyle · 30/09/2022 13:12

Totally agree @lunar1.

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Junipercrumble · 30/09/2022 13:38

Will you be changing their names by deed poll? Or having them 'known as' their new name?
I dont claim to understand anyone who changes their childrens names. It is their name.
Do people feel the same about their childrens first names?
If your exh suggested their first name and you liked it and went along with it, or it was your exh's favourite name so your child was named accordingly, do you also want to change this too?
Their names are their names and if they want to change them, let them do it via deed poll legally when they are adults.

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DuckEggBlend · 30/09/2022 14:05

I think you should take your mothers name and have the kids take it too. Don't give them your fiancés name, if you split they'll be left with a name that they have no connection to. Any new children can take your name as well.

Keep it simple.

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Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 14:06

It would be via deed poll

I’m not suggesting changing it because I don’t personally like it omg 😂…I will be changing my name…my children are being given the option to have the same surname as me, or keep their current surname even though their dad will no longer have that surname either 🤷‍♀️ I’m not bothered at all that they have the same surname as their dad…but he’s not keeping that surname either and they’ll want to at least have the same surname as one parent. Their dad is the one who suggested the whole name change thing so it’s not like I’m doing it for any weird motives

In the grand scheme of things it’s only a name and I could give a monkeys what anyone is called…but I know that if my mum had changed my name to her surname rather than my dads when I was little i wouldve been a lot happier as every time I hear my maiden name, it reminds me of how awful he is and I’m giving my children the option I wasn’t given as a child.
The only other family members that would have the same surname as them would be my ex’s family who we have zero contact with as they are extremely toxic and harmful…if it were me, I’d want to not have ties with that.

If they don’t want to change their name, cool but I’d like to be able to give them a suitable option if they’d like to change it.

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Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 14:08

@DuckEggBlend i think this is what I’m going to do. It seems like the most sensible option, as although they’d like to take my fiancés name, it’s adding in that chance of having yet another surname with no links if the worst happens 🤷‍♀️

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wellhelloitsme · 30/09/2022 14:13

Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 14:08

@DuckEggBlend i think this is what I’m going to do. It seems like the most sensible option, as although they’d like to take my fiancés name, it’s adding in that chance of having yet another surname with no links if the worst happens 🤷‍♀️

Wouldn't your fiancé take the same name as you and your kids (it would be lovely to think of a new one you could all share) and your baby could have it too? There's no more reason for you to take his name than there is for him to change his.

That seems the most logical thing to do to me.

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Ponderingwindow · 30/09/2022 14:16

i would not change their surname. It belongs to them. It is their name. You get the privilege of naming them at birth, but after that, ownership of the name passes to the individual. You shouldn’t try to pressure the children into agreeing to a change either.

if it matters to you that a parent has the same surname as the children, then one or both of you will just have to keep that surname.

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Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 14:29

@Ponderingwindow woah who said anyone was getting pressured here 😬 I’m just trying to get some opinions on some options I can give my kids if they feel like that’s what they want to do. My children are all very strong minded and have been raised to know themselves and what they want and I have not once pressured them to do anything. If any of them would like to change their name then that’s cool if not, also cool. I just want to work out the best option to give them so they can choose themselves what to do.

It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest whether or not they have the same name as a parent, but the children themselves have told me that they would like to have the same surname me and as I am changing it surely I should also give them that option rather than telling them they have to keep their name?

@wellhelloitsme my fiancé wants to keep his surname and he doesn’t mind whether I take his surname or not but i want to get rid of my current surname 😂 so I’ll most likely be changing it to my mums surname. I will give the kids the option of changing it to that or not. I might double barrel with my fiancés name just because I like how it sounds but probably will just keep it simple instead.

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MarieIVanArkleStinks · 30/09/2022 14:44

My brother at one time wanted to change to our mother's name to sever links with our abusive father. Although it was just as important to me to keep my own family name, this is very understandable, particularly if it carries a risk of your father trying to contact you.

It sounds as though this is what you've made up your mind to do, with the new baby's name double-barreled with your fiancé's. I think it's a great option if it suits all concerned.

A motivation often given for name-changing is that family members all have the same name. For various reasons this seems to matter to some people. From the alternative perspective, no one in my household has exactly the same name: we are Myname, Hisname, DC: Myname-Hisname. It's never caused any confusion, or unscheduled stops at passport control (on occasion, each of us has travelled separately with the DC). My child knows who their parents are. We are very much a family unit.

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Ponderingwindow · 30/09/2022 15:25

Even presenting the idea to them that their surnames might be changed is a degree of pressure. Telling them that you are definitely changing your name even more so. They are young children who want to feel like they belong in a changing family dynamic. They are strongly motivated to be compliant and agreeable even if they don’t realize those motivations consciously.

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ChildrenOfTheQuorn · 30/09/2022 15:27

I don't think you should be giving them all your fiancé's surname! They're not his children. I would give all of them, and yourself, your mother's maiden name and stop changing your surname after that!

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Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 15:39

@Ponderingwindow I really don’t think that me saying hey guys I’m changing my surname, you can if you want too but if you don’t want to also cool 🤷‍♀️ Is putting any pressure whatsoever on my kids. I think o know them a little better than you ngl 😂 and I can tell you there’s not an ounce of compliancy between the three of them haha

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WillPowerLite · 30/09/2022 15:55

Wow. You have been through a lot. Congratulations on the new baby and upcoming marriage.

With your history of names being so difficult, I think you could:

Change your last name either your Mum's or to a totally new name that you choose.

Change your existing 3 children to your new surname.

Give the new baby your new surname, with fiancee's name as a middle name. Or double barrel with your surname as the last one.

Marriages, as you well know, can come and go. Even this new one. I think you all need some stability on names, and you can provide it yourself.

I would not want to tie everyone's names to your new husband. I hope it lasts for happy-ever-after! But you and your dc can all have a name for yourselves, that reflects a somewhat tricky past and a lovely future.

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Sceptre86 · 30/09/2022 16:23

Leave their names as they are. What if you split up with your fiancee, would you change their names again? It reads bloody confusing as it is. Once they are adults they can decide whether they want to change names.

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Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 17:07

@ChildrenOfTheQuorn first of all…absolutely amazing name! haha
I wouldn’t like to give them my fiancés name tbh but that’s the one they all like most😂🙄

I will however I think be taking my mums name and giving the kids the option between their current surname, my mothers name or the two double barrelled.

Cant say I was planning on changing my name after this time 😂

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Luredbyapomegranate · 30/09/2022 17:12

Take your mother’s surname, change your kids’ to that, although if they are older you will need to ask them

double barrel it with your new partner’s name for the baby

It will be nice for your older kids and the baby to have partly the same name

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Audienceofone · 30/09/2022 17:17

@WillPowerLite thank you sm for the congratulations. I totally agree with what you’ve said and think that’s going to be the best option.
obviously if they want to keep their current name that’s fine, but I think giving them the option and a fair chance at changing it when I do is best ☺️

As much as they prefer my fiancés name I am removing that as an option that I give to them for that very reason. Who knows what will happen down the line

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lunar1 · 30/09/2022 17:27

I would give each child the option to change at 13, they are old enough then to understand it properly then. As independent as you think they are, children of 9,7&4 are not capable of understanding the decision you are asking them to make.

At 13 they are capable of understanding it, and it's young enough to get it done for each of them prior to GCSE's

My brother bitterly regrets changing his name at 8, our mum just reminded him that he agreed so he should be happy. He just wanted to make her happy and had no understanding really of what it would mean.

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villamariavintrapp · 30/09/2022 18:45

Why not choose a new family name that has some meaning for all of you, and all change to it if you like? Fiancé too, and new baby.

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