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How will changing my last name after remarrying legally affect the custody of my children?

I have 2 children from a previous marriage and they carry mine and my ex-husband's last names by hyphenation, just as I did when we were married (example: Jones-Smith). When I divorced, I've reverted back to just my maiden name (just Jones). I will be remarrying in coming months and want to take my new husband's last name, but I'm not sure how this will affect my custody of my children (with respect to my relationship to them). I was thinking of using my maiden name as a second middle name. I'm sure others have had this dilemma...Thoughts?

Answer Question

Asked by bamii04 at 6:13 PM on Jan. 8, 2011 in Relationships

Level 2 (11 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Changing a name has no bearing on custody. it won't make a difference if you were to change your name to Hoot even if you weren't remarrying.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 6:16 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • Your kids are your kids regardless of your last name.

    I guess I am confused? Kids have different last names then their mother it doesn't change your custody of your kids.

    Answer by Charis76 at 6:17 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • Thanks Jademom07...I think I should clarify. I know it won't have any bearing on custody itself, so I guess my question is more geared to how the varying names between my children and I will affect travel, enrolling them in school...basically establishing myself as their mother since it isn't obvious just by last name. Will I need to carry their birth certs around everywhere? (<-- I know is probably a silly question, but perhaps it's really an exaggerated solution??)

    Comment by bamii04 (original poster) at 6:19 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • No you won't, divorce and kids with different names is more and more common. My son still has my ex husbands last name, yet I'm re-married and I have sole custody. He'd have to give up his parental rights or sign papers allowing the name change in order for me to change my sons last name or to have my current husband adopt him.

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 6:21 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • No it happens all of the time where kids have different last name for reasons such as yours. If your worried about it though why don't you just hyphen it again? then you would have at least that part still in common.

    Answer by Charis76 at 6:22 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • Thanks ladies...

    Mom2Jack04 - what kind of difficulties, if any, have you encountered because of the name difference? Do schools, airlines, etc. request proof that you are his mother?

    Comment by bamii04 (original poster) at 6:23 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • Charis76 - I'm actually not a big fan of hyphenating so I'd rather not do it that way again...the only reason I did it the first time around was because my daughter was born before we married and I figured it best to keep hers and my last name the same. That's why I thinking of moving my maiden name to a middle name instead - sort of a compromise, if you will.

    Comment by bamii04 (original poster) at 6:25 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • It shouldn't affect anything. My mom always kept her married name: Jordan. I had the last name Lucas from my Dad & my younger siblings had the last name Frank from their dad...all while my mother had the last name Jordan...nothing ever happened custody wise in either divorce due to her last problems with the schools, dr, etc.

    Answer by CayShek at 7:08 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • Also no probs enrolling us in school, taking us to mexico on vacation...getting us all passports. Honestly no one even looked at my Mother strange for having a dif last name. Think of all the kids who are fostered, moms who are remarried, kids who's step parents have to take them to do things because the biological parent passed away. Really it was never a big deal! you just say you're there Mom & that's that :) Now if you were 22 saying you were the parent of a 15 year old or something THEN they may question your last name ;)

    Answer by CayShek at 7:11 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • It is not a problem with any of that. I have my maiden name oldest dd has my ex husbands last name and my twins have thier fathers name. I have had no one bring it up. I got all of them into school with out an issue. I have never been questioned taking them onto a plane or anything along those lines. You may have to have the bc for school, but that is a requirment for school not because you have a diffrent name.

    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 8:43 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

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