26/09/2018 13:46 BST | Updated 27/09/2018 13:46 BST

Mum Who Wants To Change Daughter's Surname After Divorce Sparks Debate

'I don’t see why I have to lose our family name connection because I married the wrong man.'

A mum has sparked a debate online by saying she wants to change her one-year-old daughter’s surname after splitting from her husband.

The Mumsnet user explained her younger daughter took her partner’s surname when she was born. The mum has decided to change her name back to her maiden name, and wants to change her daughter’s too. 

“I don’t see why she has to have a different name to me for the rest of her life, when her father has basically decided to leave us because we’re too much hassle,” she wrote. “He has said to me he finds being a dad stressful and he wants to focus on himself. I’m sure that he would be offended by the idea and I know I need his permission.”

Thanasis Zovoilis via Getty Images

The mum wrote on the parenting forum asking for ideas, and pondered whether she should double-barrel the surnames.

“Is this unreasonable?” she wrote. “I know it’s just semantics, but I always dreamed of having a child and I love being a mum and I don’t see why I have to lose our family name connection because I married the wrong man.”

Some parents agreed with the mum. “Your daughter is only one so it’s not like she’s used to having his surname, so she would know no different,” one person argued. “If he really said he wants out and you’ll be the main carer then yeah why shouldn’t she have your last name?”

Another agreed, writing: “Jesus what a dick. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to deal with this. You are not being unreasonable, in these circumstances I’d definitely want to change her name, too.”

In these circumstances I’d definitely want to change her name, too." Mumsnet user

Others disagreed though, and felt that the mother shouldn’t change her daughter’s name. “Don’t change your daughter’s identity to mirror your relationship status. It’s her name. Presumably it was good enough to give her before the relationship went wrong. Which has nothing to do with her.”

And another wrote: “I think you need to think ahead. If you were to marry again in the future would you take your new spouse’s name? Would any of the children of that marriage take your ‘maiden’ name or their father’s name? Allowing your daughter to keep her father’s surname for now and making her own decision in the future might be better.”

Many said double-barrelling the surnames could be the best option, with one mum saying it will be able to allow the daughter to keep both her identities. 

Can I change my child’s last name?

A child’s legal name can easily be changed by Deed Poll providing everyone with parental responsibility (PR) for the child consents to the name change.

If the child is 16 years of age or over (or approaching their 16th birthday), they must apply for their own Deed Poll for which parental consent is not required.

If a father has parental responsibility, his consent is required to make any change to his child’s name including double-barrelling the surname. This is the case even if he and the mother have separated, divorced or remarried and if the father has no contact whatsoever with the child.

Read more.

What would you do? Have you been in this situation? Let us know by commenting below or emailing ukparents@huffpost.com

Also on HuffPost
Photo gallery14 Perfect Baby Names For Children Born In The Winter Months See Gallery