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Change of name? Divorce

SammyBear25 April 17, 2022 17:14

Hiya. Me and my husband adopted 6yrs ago.. but we have split up ( 1yr ago)

and due to divorce. I want to change back to my previous name - and want my child to change too ( as AF refuses to see them now ) but I’m worried as it will be the 3rd name change in there life. Anyone else changed the last name after a divorce? And how did ur child take it ? Thanks

Edited 10/05/2022
Safia April 17, 2022 19:05

I’ve never been in that situation but if you adopted 6 years ago your child must be at least 6 so I think it’s best to discuss it with them - both to find out their thoughts and explore the options. Be honest about how you feel and your plans. If you change their name without their full consent you could be in a situation where they resent it and change back at the earliest opportunity. It will be complex as it will involve how they feel about their Dad and the hopes of a relationship with him either now or in the future. So changing their name when they’re not ready could feel like coming in the way of that relationship (even though it’s not) So I guess you need to think about how you will feel and what you will do if they want to keep their current name - and of course how they feel now might change too

Serrakunda27 April 17, 2022 21:15

To be honest, I wouldn't take that decision for them.

You say the separation is recent, your child"s feelings about seeing their dad may change as things settle down. I think you need to be careful about projecting your feelings onto your child. Depending on their age I would also be wary of asking their opinion.

I have had long standing discussion with my son about his surname. His birth surname is African, all I did was stick my own name at the end.I felt this was an important connection with his heritage. He has asked a number of times to change his name to just ours. He has been very angry about his birth dad, which I don't feel is good enough reason to change it. I told him if he still wants to do it when he is 18 I will help him. He is 17 now and I think he has the maturity to make that decision, in a reasoned manner and not as a knee jerk emotional reaction.

I wouldn't also assume you can do it without the other parents permission - worth checking that out

Donatella April 18, 2022 22:58

It’s not straightforward to change a name particularly when the child is younger. My daughter has just changed her christian name - it’s something she’s wanted to do for a long time but we waited until she was able to make an informed choice - at 16. We had to do it via a deed poll using an online service. Then comes the fun of informing - with a certified copy of the deed poll - all those who’ll need to know. You can’t just decide to change a name - our school would only change the name on the register by evidencing the deed poll for example.

I don’t know his old your child is or whether s/he would be capable of making that decision for theirselves but as you adopted just 6 years ago I’m thinking they’re still quite young. And I wonder how they’d feel about being asked to jettison a name they’re comfortable with - and the symbolism of formally cutting ties with their father. The relationship may have broken down for now but irrevocably so or not? I think it’s a big ask.

Do you have to make the decision right now? On top of everything else that’s happening this just might be another organisational headache that will add extra stress.

Plus fairly sure you’d need dad to approve the change as well

Edited 19/04/2022
Ninjacat April 20, 2022 14:19

I'm currently helping my Sister in Law to change the surname of her two children.

The father has been out of the picture for over 5 years, and it is being done with the children's and CAFCASS consent through the courts.

The father, if he has parental responsibility, would need to consent, and the court would contact him about this.

The change of name is not taken lightly by the courts, and they will always look at it from the child's point of view.


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