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Keep or change your last name from your child's?

Posted by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:15 PM
  • 21 Replies

For those of you who either get married, remarried, divorced, widowed, etc - did you keep the last name of your child?  Or change it?  And why?

Here's what got me thinking about this...I have this friend who had a father who abused his mother.  My friend's mother divorced her abuser but kept his last name because it was the last name of her two sons.  Even when she remarried to a wonderful man a couple of years later (when the boys were very young) she kept her son's last name as her own until they were grown and out of the house, only then did she changed it to her current husband's last name.  My friend said he always respected his mom for doing that because it must have been such a huge sacrifice for her to know that she kept her abuser's name, just a simple gesture to prevent even a little more sadness in her kids.

That story was told to me by my friend over 12 years ago and I still remember being taken aback by it.  I never even thought of it that way - that an ex's name is usually the child's name and that a child might be saddened or feel as though the family is broken even more if their mother's name is different from there name - I asked my stepkids how they felt about their mother changing her last name after the divorce - my SS had no memory of her actually changing the name, but he never liked that her name was different, and my SD (who was older at the time) says it added to the trauma of the divorce and she doesn't like it. 

Even their mother - who was so adament about changing her name - now has added her kid's last name on all her voice mails (maiden name hyphenated with her kids name) - she says she was so blinded by anger from the divorce that it hadn't crossed her mind that her ex might remarry and the stepmom would frequently be confused for being their mom and how mad it makes her. 

So, even though my stepkid's mom's legal name is her maiden name, she still uses the kids name to avoid confusion - it doesn't always work, though - because her driver's license only has her maiden name, this means picking her own kids up from their large and busy schools becomes extremely stressful and annoying for her and the kids.  Last time the receptionist called the principal, and the registrar to pull the divorce decree to make sure she was who she said she was....she said she was humiliated.

by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:15 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MOM22QTS
by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Well i am not married, but both my kids have my s/os last name. My last name is obviously different.
Even if I wasn't with him anymore, my kids would keep his last name. I never gave it much thought about not having the same last name as my children. maybe to some its a big deal, but to me it isnt.  

msmoody
by Ruby Member on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:19 PM

I'm keeping the same last name after divorcing my husband. I don't know..I've had it for so long, it just seems easier, and I like having the same name as my children.

If my s/o and I ever get married, I would probably take his name though.

alliet08
by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I am not married yet. My son does have my fiances last name. If we got married and divorced at some point and I was ever to marry someone else I think I would keep my kids last name and just hyphen my new so new with my old one.=D

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Carolbrady100
by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:26 PM

I have been divorced for six years and I kept my ex husbands name, because it was easier, I thought for the kids. I am getting married in August and plan to take my new husbands name, I dont think he would appreciate me keeping my ex's name and my children are older now.

We havent seen or heard from my ex in four years. I wouldnt be suprised if my children let my new husband adopt them and take his name, not that I'm pushing for that. That is a decision my children should make, but we've talked about it.. I guess every situation is different.

Dawn4175
by Platinum Member on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:26 PM

I took my husband's name, but a couple of years after we got married he adopted my daughter, so now we all have the same last name.  Yay!

toxicmother0613
by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:28 PM

My ex and and I broke up before my DD was born but I still decided to give her his last name b/c I constantly have these dreams of her not knowing her father and I dont want that to happen

meduimchunk
by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:29 PM


Quoting msmoody:

I'm keeping the same last name after divorcing my husband. I don't know..I've had it for so long, it just seems easier, and I like having the same name as my children.

If my s/o and I ever get married, I would probably take his name though.


alliet08
by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Bad picture to see when you are pregnant and hungry. lol

Quoting meduimchunk:


Quoting msmoody:

I'm keeping the same last name after divorcing my husband. I don't know..I've had it for so long, it just seems easier, and I like having the same name as my children.

If my s/o and I ever get married, I would probably take his name though.



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gracielullaby
by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:45 PM

I actually struggle with this even though I have NO reason to worry right now. I kep tmy ex name in part because I want my son to have the same last name as me. I also never cared for my maiden name. One of those that you catch hell for all through school. I have NO idea what I will do if and when I remarry. I really really want to have the same last name as my DS but understand how me having another man's name would affect a new man. I know my son's father will never give up his rights so it's not like he can get adopted by this non exisistent new man. Just don't know what I'll do till I'm in the situation. sigh...

Katenemsmom
by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 6:31 PM

**not using real names**

My former stepmom legally changed her last name to Miller-Hensen after her last divorce from husband #3.  Her first son is Ryan Miller from ex #1 and her second son is Scott Hensen from ex #2.  Her sons are adults, but she wanted to still have the same name as them.  She talked to my Dad and her other ex and both were fine with the idea.  I thought it was great. 

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