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ex wife is telling kids their last name is now their stepdads last name

Can anything be done. My husband is active in his kids lives, however his ex recently got married and moved to texas from calif. The kids are 7 and 8. My hubby talked to the 7 year old by phone on Friday, he asked her how her new school was and who her new freinds were. She told him she had a new friend and her first name was the same as hers but her last name started with An A, but her last name started with an S. My husband corrected her gently and reminded her that her last name starts with an E. She said no daddy, mommy said our last name is now "S****" (stepdads and mommys new last name). My husband was upset and asked to speak to the ex, she got on the line and he asked her what the deal was. She told my hubby, "its no big deal, we old her she can use S**** because its easier to spell and her teacher said it is ok". Mind you, this little girl can spell her real last name just fine. Can we do anything about the mind games this woman plays with these kids...anything legally speaking?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:50 AM on Jan. 30, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (9)
  • Legally sure you can do something about it, but as for the school and what the teacher lets them use there isnt much you can do. On her records and legally just make sure the school knows what her name IS. Alot of teachers will let the students use their step parents last names though, and it is considered a nickname.
    I would however check with the school and make sure your husbands name is listed as the father, and that they have a copy of the court order giving him visits etc. That way you can get copies of report cards and what not. You also have to put it in writing and ask them to send it to you. He can have access to tests, school work etc. He should also email the teacher and be nice about it. Remember, the teacher probably has no idea whats going on. And get some communication going there.

    Answer by gemgem at 11:56 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Legally the little girl has the fathers last name and if he wanted to he can speak to an attorney about it. YOu can't change a childs last name that way. My mom changed my sister and didn't do it the legal way and she got in trouble and is still paying for it. Not sure what the grounds were in here conviction just know that she got in trouble with the state. I htink it might have been false information

    Answer by Claudiomom at 11:57 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Now thats twisted. I know in order to get the last names changed their father has to sign his parental rights away and the "New dad" has to adopt them. At least that was the process when my step-sister became my adopted sister. My dad adopted her but before that her real dad had to sign his rights away. Then she was given our last name. I would go talk to a lawyer.

    Answer by luvmygrlz at 12:01 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • I agree with what others have said... Legally... your husband's children have his last name. The ONLY way that could be legally changed is if he were absent from their lives for an extended period of time or if the step dad petitions to adopt the children (though that would require your husband signing over his rights as a parent)

    For instance... I could legally change my daughter's last name to my last name (she has her biological father's last name but he hasn't made a single instance of contact since 2001)...I am just unsure how to do that.

    But your husband's ex wife can't just go changing the kids' names without his permission. I would highly advise him to seek an attorney.

    Answer by Randomosity2 at 12:04 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Its a civil matter no one is going to be convicted of ANYTHING. Now if they lie on their school records and say this is their legal last name then sure, they get into trouble with the state for falsifying documents. It doesnt sound like thats the case here though. The teacher apparently is aware this isnt their last name and is letting them use step dads name because its easier to spell. There is nothing you can do about THAT in itself. Thats why I suggested he get in touch with the school and teacher and make sure there is some communication. My son lives with his dad and I have to work to make sure I have information about what happens in school. His former step mom actually listed herself as his mother and I had to set all that straight. Call the school, start there, make sure they know they have a father who is involved and cares.

    Answer by gemgem at 12:07 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Thats pretty sh***! I can understand if the dad was no good but the dad seems decent. Why confuse the kid.

    Answer by augboy11 at 7:02 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • my ex's ex (i know i know) did this with their daughter, same thing! the little girl thinks she has not two last names, but three!!! and she doesn't. she sees her dad anytime that she will let him and he explained to her that her real last name is his, and her mom's used to be when they were married, when his daughter told her mom that she was wtf?! bc now the girl knows that her real last is what her mom's used to be and uses it (and man, it pisses her off). but my suggestion isn't to pull the girl one way or the other, later on she will understand and probably resent her mother for doing this. she is trying to cause problems, i know it hurts his feelings but it's best to let it go.

    Answer by angevil53 at 10:38 PM on Jan. 30, 2011


    That might sound rash but she IS PLAYING MIND GAMES with your husband's child.

    I'm only 22 and my parents went through a horrific custody battle a few years ago that is still VERY fresh in my mind. My MOTHER played the SAME mind games with us. "You can call him (new husband) daddy now if you want" or "If you refuse to go to your dad's house and say he's mean then he (new husband) can adopt you" or "You can use our last name if you want."

    My little brother went around for a LONG time saying his last name was W**** instead of B********* and it KILLED my dad. It also CONFUSED THE HELL out of my brother who was only like 5 at the time!

    My dad eventually took her to court because of MANY different mental abuse issues and was awarded custody.

    I'm not saying go for custody but they CAN put something IN THE PAPERS that says she CAN NOT refer to the children as anything but their legal last name.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:56 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Wow..ppl can be sooo pathetic and playing games with a child will only confuse them in this case. I feel for you that you have to go thru this..the Biological mother must have a lil jealous streck to be keeping sumn like this going. You may have to get a lawyer..this will help you know your rights & your husbands. U may need a lawyer because the school will need to be handled and put in place that just because the mother is now married to another party besides the kids biological..that doesnt mean that the kids name automatically change! Paper work would have to be drawn for that to change legally here in the US is certian!

    Answer by mommyomg247 at 5:36 AM on Jan. 31, 2011

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