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Thread: NSR: Can a father change a child's name without the mother's consent? (sorry, long)

  1. #1
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    Default NSR: Can a father change a child's name without the mother's consent? (sorry, long)

    Sigh...Yet another attempt of my ex to try to cause trouble when things get too peaceful....

    Recently I decided to take my opinion "out of the ring" over parenting time and the holiday schedule. He continually tries to manipulate things with the holidays and I told him a few weeks ago to get with the girls (12 and 13 year olds) and come up with whatever schedule works for them for the next 6 years and I will stick to whatever it is. I was just tired of him changing things at the last minute and blaming it on me. This way, I can't be (as usual) made out to be the "bad guy" when the holidays come up. I can just refer to the schedule (that I didn't make) and stay out of all his manipulations.

    So today (it's his week with the kids), I get a text that he is bringing over a copy of the schedule they came up with... and also bringing a form for me to sign to change the girls' last name to his "because they want to". I simply texted that they could change it when they turn 18.

    Keep in mind, there's so much back-story to this that it would take all week to explain. You have no idea how manipulative this guy is and the lengths he will go to try to control people with money. Basically all five of my children have my maiden name because my oldest is not biologically his (and he never adopted her because then we couldn't collect child support from her bio father...long story), he and I weren't married when the next two were born (again, because of money), and my younger two are my husbands (but we wanted all the siblings to have the same last name).

    So he texted back to say that me signing would be the easy way, but he's going to file anyway and let the judge decide. Trust me, I want no drama with this guy and have just ignored his text but this brings me (finally :) ) to my question for you guys...

    Can a father (with whom I share joint legal and physical custody) get children's last names changed without their mother's consent? I know he has manipulated them into saying they want his name, just as I could manipulated them into saying they want to keep their name (but I would never do that). Will a judge agree to that? If so, whatever, I don't want their name changed but I'm not going to waste valuable energy and money if I'm fighting a losing battle. But I thought the mother had to agree...no?

    Thanks for reading! :sunshine:



    (To haters only: Please only answer the question or stay out of the thread. I posted this in the support forum intentionally. I'm not interested in your personal opinions on my personal life or whether or not you agree with my choices in life...)

    Thanks for the siggy, delphi!

  2. #2
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    No, I don't think he can change their name without your permission.

    GS X 1 Daniel 2009

  3. #3
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    With the court systems as wacky as they are now, who knows. I would say he needs your permission but if he can convince a judge that the girls really want it changed and it would be in their best interest to change it, because of how old they are, a judge might go for it. So my answer is :shrug:

    Sorry he is being such a:Shake:

    Keep doing what is best for your children. It is bitter sweet but eventually they grow up and realize what a :Oink: their dad is.

  4. #4
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    I believe that he can...well, a judge can unless you can give a reason not to. Keeping all siblings with the same last name is not a good reason in the courts eyes. He is their bio father...most judges will change i...sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalilies View Post
    Keep doing what is best for your children. It is bitter sweet but eventually they grow up and realize what a :Oink: their dad is.
    EXACTLY what I'm trying to help my DH understand! :) It sucks that their dad is acting this way, but since I can't control it, all I can do is stay out of it and let his true motives come out on their own. Given enough time people's true colors always come out...especially when you don't get in the way.

    I guess I can call the courthouse on Monday, but now I have to sit and wonder all weekend...I just wish I knew and I wish he would STOP causing trouble just because he's apparently miserable in life.

    Thanks for the siggy, delphi!

  6. #6
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    nevermind...not worth it...

    I need to learn to stop clicking the "view post" button...

    Thanks for the siggy, delphi!

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    What I would do is ask your girls how they feel. They are old enough to decide if they want their names changed. I do not think he can do it without your consent. If and when you go to court to decide this the judge will take into consideration WHY you do not want their last names changed. It can cause confusion with many different things, With me my first DD has my and her father's name it is hyphenated so that is an idea too. Sometimee people look at me weird when I tell them her last name and then mine which is now my married name, i have also have several insurance issues as well because of the difference.Good luck..




  8. #8
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    Do they (your ex and your daughters) fully understand how confusing it will be to start using a different last name? All their school, medical, dental records...ugh, what a hassle.

    I hope everything works out!:sunshine:

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    No he cant. He can change it if you dont appear in court.. but as long as you are there and dont approve he cant. My Ex tried to change my sons last name to his.. I refused... my son was only 1.. but I knew the signifagance of him sharing MY last name in many things.. including enrolling in school and air travel. It is hard to prove gaurdianship if you dont share names...:@

    He can contest it.. and bring you into a legal battle over it.. but it isnt likely they will just up and change it now.. your girls have been known by this name for too long.. in school and in personal life.

    HTH

    RP
    Robin
    Working through it..

  10. #10
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    How can a judge change their names without hearing you?

    My sons father asked for DS to have his name. I said no. Simply because all my kids shall have the same last name and because there's only 249 people with my surname. Stick to your guns, make sure any court sees this for the manipulative trick that it is.

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    thank you for the supportive/helpful replies!

    I just thought to maybe email him this...

    ******,

    What I don't understand is this:

    Scheduling conflict was causing emotional/psychological problems for the girls by putting them in the middle and affecting their lives... Solution? For me to take myself out of the process and do whatever makes them happy and agree to the schedule you all come up with. My goal is for them to be happy and healthy.

    Good? Peace? Nooooo. Now let's see what else we can make me do... Names! Let's take a peaceful, quiet situation and cause problems...again. Let's see... they have my last name instead of yours.... Does this cause them emotional/psychological problems? Probably not...but let's say it bothers them just a bit...probably not going to cause longterm damage or keep them from funtioning in their day to day life...but OK, let's put that in the "maybe" pile. Now let's examine "them being put in the middle of their parents and drama again, just when things got nice and peaceful". Hmmmmmm....yeah, I'm going to have to go with putting that in the "yes, that will definatly affect them emotionally/psychologically, cause longterm damage and affect their day to day functioning" pile. But as you said, "this is about them, not us".

    Please don't contact me further regarding making their life harder rather than easier....
    What do you think? Should I send it?

    Thanks for the siggy, delphi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmommybear View Post
    What do you think? Should I send it?
    Personally I wouldnt.. it seems it might "stir the pot" more than I would feel comfortable doing. I would just tell him that is not an ideal situation for children who have lived 12-13 years with the same last name to up and change it.

    But.. none of us can say what is right or wrong in this sitaution.. all we can do is offer you a ear and a hug if you need it.. sorry he is an a$$!!!

    RP
    Robin
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pampered_Robin View Post
    Personally I wouldnt.. it seems it might "stir the pot" more than I would feel comfortable doing. I would just tell him that is not an ideal situation for children who have lived 12-13 years with the same last name to up and change it.

    But.. none of us can say what is right or wrong in this sitaution.. all we can do is offer you a ear and a hug if you need it.. sorry he is an a$$!!!

    RP
    No, believe me, I hear you (and thanks for the hug, I'll take it! :) ), the last thing I want is trouble. I just wish he would see that all he is doing is causing trouble for no good reason. They are my kids too, why his name and not mine? ...especially since it's been their name for 12 and 13 years! I wish I could get some sort of "no contact" order to keep him from harassing me...but what can I do when we have the kids every other week and have to share in decisions? :shrug:

    ETA: What I hate the most (after the fact that he's hurting the kids) is that I'm LETTING him upset my day/weekend and giving him that power! :grr:

    Thanks for the siggy, delphi!

  14. #14
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    to change a name you have to go to court first of all! A judge is very likely to go ahead with the name change as he is the father and is paying his share for them.

    the sperm donor, aka biodad of my oldest wanted nothing ot do with the pregnancy or baby until he was 9 mo old and I took him for child support. He had my maiden name. when I was awarded child support they handed me a form to sign to change his last name to his fathers, I said whatq if I dont want it changed, they said if he agrees that it can be left but if he wants it changed and I disagreed we would ahve to go to court and most likely it would end up being changed anyways.

    so you can fight it but in the long run it will probably be changed if thats what he wants and fights you on it.


    "There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream."
    After two years and 4 transfers, Graham was born on my birthday @ 8lb13oz 20in!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmommybear View Post
    thank you for the supportive/helpful replies!

    I just thought to maybe email him this...



    What do you think? Should I send it?
    It sounds kind of testy. I wouldn't send it as is. Revise it without the sarcasm. Explain very nicely why you don't feel it would be in their best interest. State that even though you have done all you can to be agreeable so that the children don't feel like they are caught in between, this is not an issue that you will back down on. How it is now, it could be seen that you are going to dig in your heels and willing to put the girls in the middle for no real reason. If that was given to a judge, it would not reflex positive. You state that there may be a reason to change their name but you still will fight not to.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalilies View Post
    It sounds kind of testy. I wouldn't send it as is. Revise it without the sarcasm. Explain very nicely why you don't feel it would be in their best interest. State that even though you have done all you can to be agreeable so that the children don't feel like they are caught in between, this is not an issue that you will back down on. How it is now, it could be seen that you are going to dig in your heels and willing to put the girls in the middle for no real reason. If that was given to a judge, it would not reflex positive. You state that there may be a reason to change their name but you still will fight not to.
    Well, I agree and actually was going to change it to take out the sarcasm but being pissed off won out and I just sent this.... :blush:

    What I don't understand is this:

    Scheduling conflict was causing emotional/psychological problems for the girls by putting them in the middle and affecting their lives... Solution? For me to take myself out of the process and do whatever makes them happy and agree to the schedule you all come up with. My goal is for them to be happy and healthy. Good? Peace? Nooooo. Now let's see what else we can do... Names! Let's take a peaceful, quiet situation and cause problems...again. Let's see... they have my last name instead of yours.... Does this cause them emotional/psychological problems? Probably not...but let's say it bothers them just a bit (though they haven't shared that with me)...probably not going to cause long-term damage or keep them from functioning in their day to day life...but OK, let's put that in the "maybe" pile, but then we'd also have to add "changing a child's name after 12 and 13 years". Now let's examine "them being put in the middle of their parents and drama again, just when things got nice and peaceful". Hmmmmmm....yeah, I'm going to have to go with putting that in the "yes, that will definitely affect them emotionally/psychologically, cause long-term damage and affect their day to day functioning." But as you said, "this is about them, not us"

    Please don't contact me further regarding making their life harder rather than easier....
    What you (not you personally, but the reader ;-) ) has to understand is that, during our final/official divorce, my ex went so far as to accuse my DH (then fiance) of molesting our daughter. The officer/investigator was furious during the process and vowed to go to court himself if need be to show that my ex was just pulling a sleazy stunt to try to get custody and avoid paying child support. So yeah, I'm through with his sh!t. It's all I can do to even deal with him and only do it for my kids' sake. Yeah, you're right, I should have taken the sarcasm out of it. Bottom line is that he is willing to cause upheaval in their lives just to stir the pot.

    But honestly, thank you, I really appreciate your constructive advice...I wish I had read it before I clicked send and calmed down more with your help. :blush: Oh well, what's done is done...it's no worse than he's done.

    ETA: I just followed it with this...
    If I could click "unsend" and remove the sarcasm, I would. But the gist of what I'm trying to say is that I'm not in favor of disrupting their lives for this.

    Jan
    Last edited by Jmommybear; 03-07-2009 at 03:31 PM.

    Thanks for the siggy, delphi!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAJEWELL View Post
    to change a name you have to go to court first of all! A judge is very likely to go ahead with the name change as he is the father and is paying his share for them.

    the sperm donor, aka biodad of my oldest wanted nothing ot do with the pregnancy or baby until he was 9 mo old and I took him for child support. He had my maiden name. when I was awarded child support they handed me a form to sign to change his last name to his fathers, I said whatq if I dont want it changed, they said if he agrees that it can be left but if he wants it changed and I disagreed we would ahve to go to court and most likely it would end up being changed anyways.

    so you can fight it but in the long run it will probably be changed if thats what he wants and fights you on it.
    Thank you, I appreciate you sharing your story. I'm curious, how old is that child? I was told recently that they do things very differently re: custody, etc. I wonder if that applies to names too. I'm mean, why is his name any more important than mine? Esp considering their whole lives have been with it..

    Thanks for the siggy, delphi!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmommybear View Post
    Thank you, I appreciate you sharing your story. I'm curious, how old is that child? I was told recently that they do things very differently re: custody, etc. I wonder if that applies to names too. I'm mean, why is his name any more important than mine? Esp considering their whole lives have been with it..
    my son jsut turned 10 so this was 9 years ago. You might have a leg to stand on due to you kept all your kids names the same for a reason and they might take that into consideration, that and they may ask your kids what they want since they are older. I agree his name should be no more important than yours and the fact that they are girls and will not carry on his name like if they were boys should all have a factor but who knows. My son is a boy and is the only male child in his fathers family so the carrying on of the name would have been his arguement had I fought him on it. Also I didn't have anyonther children at the time to use they all have the same last name card.


    "There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream."
    After two years and 4 transfers, Graham was born on my birthday @ 8lb13oz 20in!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAJEWELL View Post
    the fact that they are girls and will not carry on his name like if they were boys should all have a factor but who knows. My son is a boy and is the only male child in his fathers family so the carrying on of the name would have been his arguement had I fought him on it. Also I didn't have anyonther children at the time to use they all have the same last name card.
    That's a very good point I hadn't considered. :)

    DH just said "Duh! You didn't think of that?" :haha: Well, yeah, I didn't! :blush: :haha: I just don't see why, in the 21st century, a woman has to take a man's name. :D ...or a child has to take a father's. It's the other way around in some cultures. :D

    Jeez, we better start covering our ankles. hehehe

    Thanks for the siggy, delphi!

  20. #20
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    This is kind of funny because I am changing my name back to my maiden name and my oldest two want to do the same, with no prompting from me. I told them that when they turn 18 they can change their names, before that, I will not let them.

    That said, I did look into it for them and this is what I found:
    A parent of a child can apply to change the child's last name, however, if the other parent is still alive, they have to be notified and given the opportunity to say no. Then it goes before the court.

    Thanks momof1

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