Hyphenated last names?

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

So I have a question. What do you ladies think about hyphenated last names for children? I have been doing some major research on this because I’d like to add my last name to my daughter’s last name. I would love to just change it completely to mine, but I don’t think the “dad” would allow it because he does everything he can to hurt me, not in the best interest of my daughter and because he paid one payment of child support in the last 3 years, it shows the court that he is “willing” to provide for his daughter (such a joke). Anyway…with that being said, the reasons why I want to add my last name:
1. When she started talking, she started saying her name using my last name because her “dad” hasn’t seen her since she was like 6months old and she has no idea who he is. She always hears me on the phone, etc. saying “hi my name is…”and using my last name. She tells everyone that asks what her name is (using first, middle, and my last name) and feels very proud.
2. She thinks that her legal last name is a joke. Literally. I tell her that is her name and she laughs and thinks I’m calling her a silly name.
3. My family and I are the only family she has (her “dad’s” family wants nothing to do with her either) and we all have that last name.
4. I am and always will be her sole provider and have always been the one to take her to doctors and dentist appointments. Her daycare knows she goes by my last name and allows it since that is what she is comfortable with.
I think it is in the best interest of her to have my last name on her legal documents so that way she can still use the name she has been using since she could talk. Also, she is only 3 so she hasn’t learned how to spell her name yet. If I did this now, it would be beneficial for her when she starts school.
There have been many people saying negative things about this. “It’s too long to have a hyphenated name.” Well, that may be, but she will still only go by my last name in school and things of that sort. My last name will just be legal on documents so there is no trouble. “What happens if she marries another person with a hyphenated name?” That is simple…when she is 18, she can drop her “dads” last name OR drop mine if for some reason that is what she wanted OR drop both names when she marries. It is her choice when she is older. But right now, I would like to have my last name on legal documents and it is not me being selfish. What do you think??

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Erin - posted on 06/12/2012

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I hyphenated my son's last name at birth. Don't concern yourself with what her dad does or does not want it's not up to him to decide it's up to the court to decide. States have different rules on name changes so just try and see what happens if not though there is nothing that legally bars a person from using any name they wish so long as they do not do so in an illegal manner so if she wants to call herself by your last name you just let her do it :)

Jen - posted on 06/12/2012

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Just pettition the court to add your last name to her last name (a la Sally Joe Jones Smith) then she can use whichever name she chooses individually.

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[deleted account]

thank you! i hope it works out the way i want it to (by getting it legally changed). I feel like if it was legal, then it wouldn't be so confusing to her as she gets older! :)

Denikka - posted on 06/12/2012

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I used 2 last names for most of my life. Green was my legal last name and Quail was the name I socially went by. It got very confusing and I was constantly explaining the situation.

My kids have hyphenated last names. I just decided that their names sounded weird with just one name or the other, so hubby and I agreed on both. I am seriously considering hyphenating my own name when we actually get married. I've always gone by Denikka Green-Quail, so I plan on dropping Green and going with Grant-Quail.
I don't think there's anything wrong with it. It sounds like your daughter is going to end up with the same confusion I had as a child. Legally one name, identifying socially with another. I say change it :)

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