Changing childrens last name or not after divorce

Deanna - posted on 07/08/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Hello i was just wondering because i have been thinking about this for awhile now for about 3 years now i have been seperated and divorced since january ( 7 months now) I have had full custody of my 3 children from that marriage. They hold there fathers last name. I had went back to my maiden name for 3 years now and i was wondering if i should change there name to my maiden name. Or maybe use there dad's and my last name but then it get to be a little long. I don't know. :(

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Breeze - posted on 07/12/2009

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This is a great discussion! I didn't want to give up MY name when I got married but (now ex-) husband insisted. So I hypenated. My daughter has his name and this really annoys me because I am the one who grew her and birthed her. Now I have dropped his surname and gone back to my maiden name so I don't have anything in common with my daughter's name. The best solution is to hypenate her name. Maybe, aged 5, she is too young for this discussion? Can he stop me from hyphenating her name? She is Australian but we live in New Zealand. You could say it's only a name, but I am her mum and I want the world to know that!

Rebecca - posted on 07/11/2009

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i too have been divorced for 2 yrs i have 3 kids teens mind u i wanted to do the same thing but no matter what the males are going to carry there dads last name and as for my daughter well when she gets married her last name will change anyways and if she ever wants to use my maiden name then she can do so but for now they carry there dads last name and as for my self i rid of his last name no need for me to carry it i wanted my maiden name back and i got it back and u have to have the money to have it changed its not cheap for changeing ur name i dont care what kind of job u have and if u ever thought about name changeing for ur kids u can hyphen it but again if its going to be long? why bother, wait till they are grown an ask them how they feel about it as well... and yes the father does have the say in in even if he is or isnt in the pic. hope this is some help

Felicia Neikolle - posted on 07/11/2009

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oh, and as for the dad's not allowing the name to be changed ... if you can prove non-involvement/disinterest and that you are not attempting to change the name for the reason of hiding from the dad the court still has the right to rule in the favor of changing it. The only time I've encountered this being a real problem is with boys ... for some reason the courts go back to being of stone age times and say the boys HAVE to carry the name of father for the sake of continuing the lineage. BS if you ask me. Anyway ... another thing is that if the children are five or older the judge will also speak to them for their input on the situation prior to making his decision ... I know ... this is what my mom did for my sister and I so we could have her last name when she remarried since our dads were disinterested. All you have to do is prove what I previously stated. I say go for it if it's something you think is in the best interest of your children ... especially if it's something they want.

Felicia Neikolle - posted on 07/11/2009

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I kept my ex's name so that I could have my kids' name and didn't even bother with the maiden name part. You have to do whatever feels best for you and your situation. Plus, I'll admit that I get a little pleasure out of the fact that he hates it that I have his last name too!! LOL ... I even recently re-married and still kept my kids' last name and hyphenated it with my hubs' name. He's understanding and supportive of that I want to still be connected by name to them and will drop my ex's last name after we determine if we will try to terminate his rights to the kids and my hubs adopt them.

Julie - posted on 07/09/2009

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Hello,

I have went back to my maiden name and have been divorced for about 5 years now. I have three children that currently have their fathers last name and I have thought about the same for awhile and to me it comes down to this. their father basically has bailed out of their lives since he left and after the final court date about 2yrs ago when he was playing games. He never calls the children or sees them and when he did it wasn't a very good scene. My two girls want their last name changed to mine and my son since he is autistic has a hard time with change. I have told my kids that if they want to they could but I needed to make sure it would be okay with out the father having issues.

Now if the father was more involved with their life and wanted them, there would be no way I would do this or even consider it.

I don't find a problem currently with different last names than my children and quite frankly if people had any issues with it, thats there problem and not mine. When I divorced I wanted my own name back and let his name go.

I don't know if this helps you at all but this is my opinion on your question.

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25 Comments

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Lisa - posted on 08/14/2009

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My childrens name is both luckily but when we separated he put in that I could not change their names from his but he only refers to them by his surname and not their surname on their birthcerts. It is frustrating but realistically it is all about control. My oldest dropped his and he does not want to be referred to his dad but it is his choice

Diana - posted on 08/13/2009

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A name is a name. I wouldn't stress the name change. The children are his and was given to them traditionally. I would keep things the way they are and if somewhere down the line it comes up with your children and it is something they want to do without your suggesting it... then I would consider it. Their names don't make them who they are. I don't think it is important unless you were one of those women (not saying you are) that would do this just for spite. They are his children to no matter how much of a role he plays.

Kimberly - posted on 08/12/2009

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I my situation, I took back my maiden name and moved back in with my parents. My daughter was 7 when she said she was sad that we all didn't have the same last name. I had to explain to her that she had her daddy's name, which was also the same as his parents (her Oma and Opa). Since she was close with her Oma and Opa, she was okay with that. Her dad played little role in her life. After he Oma and Opa died (she was about 11 or so), she asked if she could change her name to be the same as mine. I told her she could do that when she turned 18, if she still felt the same way. She was okay with that. She is now 21 and still has his name. Because it's hers, the one she was born with.
And yes, Tina, it's about the kids. Don't "change the kids last name just cause I don't like that person anymore or that person hurt me, its not about me. Its the kids. Please people remember that the kids come first not us." The kids are innocent bystanders.

Julie - posted on 07/22/2009

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Well it depends on the father's and children's relationship. When I got divorced, I kept my name so my children and I would have the same name. I have since remarried and the boys are so cute about the name issue, my youngest tells everyone one he's lastname is my new lastname and his own lastname.



What do the kids say?

Malinda - posted on 07/21/2009

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I kept both my children's names as well as mine the same as their father's. That is what they know and who they are whether we like th other parent or not. I am now remarried and glad that I didn't change them to match me since I am different now.

Deborah - posted on 07/21/2009

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I suppose each situation is different, however, in my case, I did not change my daughter's last name. I was the one who got divorced, not her, and that fact did not change who she was. Plus check the legal aspect - in some states you might need both parents' consent to change it.

Toni - posted on 07/21/2009

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In my opinion, if the dad of your 3 children have a relationship with their Dad, I believe they should share his name. I'm divorced and would love to go back to my maiden name, but I won't do it because of my daughter. Unless their father is willing to give the children up to another man that you are or will be married to by adoption, I don't see any other way of changing their name. There's a few factors here that would need to be answered or given to help any further. Good luck!

Kayrene - posted on 07/21/2009

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I don't think there is one right answer. What ever feels right for you. I know I kept my ex's surname because i didn't want to be separate from my kids name. Also, in my province, you have to have the ex's consent to change a minor's name.. good luck nothing in divorce is easy.

[deleted account]

If it was that important to you to have your name as part of their heritage, why didn't you hyphenate it when they were born? I personally think they've had enough change and upheaval without you adding more to it right now.Plus you need to be honest with yourself and ask yourself if it's what you want or what they want? If they decide when they are older (as in, well-informed adults) to have your name then that's their decision but you should leave it alone for now. Also if you were to do that, you need to decide what you would do if /when you remarry- if you happened to decide to take yr new husband's name then would you still be happy with that or would it be even more change for them again? I know a child that at the age of 14 has already had 3 different surnames (and possibly a 4th to come) because her mother has been married 3 times and changes her name each time, with a change to mum's maiden name between each marriage as well. Not surprisingly this child has no idea who she is.

Deanna - posted on 07/15/2009

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i think i will wait untl they get a little older and ask them once i get remarried in 2 years. They already consider my fiancé as there step dad but really more like a dad my older one often says. my older boy 11and a half now told me that once we got married that my fiancé would be his dad. but i did explain to him that his father wil always be his father.

Deanna - posted on 07/15/2009

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By changing their name it would continue our family heritage. My brother had a girl and no other siblings and in all the family everyone had a girl my brother was the last chance for the family to continue by changing their last name the carlson name would continue. they will always have contact with there father for now. Depending on his bahavior. I wanted to do it to continue the name...

Tracy - posted on 07/14/2009

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As everything in a divorce situation it depends on what is best for your kids and what you current situation is.

One thing no one has mentioned it no matter what the situation ended up being the children should have access to both parts of their history/heritage. To know who they are and where they came from.

I think the better question would be 1) Why do you want to change your children's last name. 2) What benefit does this bring your child.

BTW divorced for 7 years.

Shannon - posted on 07/13/2009

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I wanted to do this after I divorced but you have to actually get the dad to agree----even if you just want hyphenate it.....STUPID!

Tina - posted on 07/13/2009

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okay, this is a funny subject. I honestly think that its great to change your name back to the maiden name you were born with, but because of whatever hostility issues came from the divorce leave the kids out of it. You created the kids together so just leave it alone. If you have girls their name will change when they marry. Its not a big thing. The only thing is that if you remarry then if the man wants to adopt the kids then change their names, but leave well enough alone, why make people keep hurting. I am a mom who went through some rough times with my ex husband and I am remarried now, but never thought about change the kids last name just cause I don't like that person anymore or that person hurt me, its not about me. Its the kids. Please people remember that the kids come first not us.

Julie - posted on 07/10/2009

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thats how I felt thats why my name was changed. I didn't want his either and I can see mine trying to block it, if I would try. Thats one of the reasons I haven't yet.

Julie - posted on 07/10/2009

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You are so right, lol Its good to hear about the same issue and I will take your advice on this and explain it to them like that. My plan was the same, when I can move away from the area and have a fresh start.

SHANNA - posted on 07/10/2009

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I would have changed my daughter's name if I could, but even though he is not actively in her life, he would not allow me to change it, so I kept his. It really pissed him off, but I really didn't care. I am now going to change my name since I am finished up my degree and I don't want him to be any part of it. I don't want his name on the degree.

Tina - posted on 07/10/2009

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lol well my kids LOVE there Dad but dont like him I have 4 kids with him and my girls wanted there last name changed b/c he has very well known name for being bad! but one the other hand if that what they want makes it different BUT you need to explain to them changing their last name may change what ppl think who DONT already know them but as for the ppl that do?? wont change a things I was thinking about my kids having there Dad last name and it HAS caused my daughter problems b4 so what I was going to do is just move away from this place so MY children have a fair chance and not living in their Dads shadow.

Julie - posted on 07/10/2009

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You have a good point, but I still think if the child wants to its their choice. Mine are all school age and there problem is that they don't want the last name of a father who lets just say isn't the greateast.

Tina - posted on 07/10/2009

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Well ladies I think that the fathers might not allow this to happen for you to change a childs name I am both parents must agree (unless the right have been taking away) and that might be costly but anyway?? really what difference does it make i suggest just leaving it alone expecially if they are school age or older

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