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Update on DS15 changing last name

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dmari posted 3/15/2014 13:06 PM

I posted a couple weeks ago regarding my DS15 wanting to change his last name to my maiden name once the divorce is final. I talked about it with my therapist and it was confirmed that it is developmentally and age appropriate to want to form an identity of ones self. A name is not just a name. It is who you are and who you represent.

My therapist suggested I talk to DS15 and ask him what are the benefits/how does it make you feel to be a ZEBRA (maiden name)? NOT to ask him why don't you want to be a BEAR (married name). It is such a subtle change in words but comes across much more smoother (lack of a better word).

I spoke to my DS15 and he would like to be a ZEBRA because he "wants to represent his clan" (we are mixed ethnicity but identify with Asian culture). We talked about the process ~ about how we would need stbx's signature. I explained the several ways this could all go down:
1. stbx signs paper and he can change his name after I do.
2. stbx does not sign paper and he waits 2 1/2 years to legally change his name AND we inform his school that he would prefer to go by the name DS15 ZEBRA (except on legal documents, report cards, etc)

He said he would feel disappointed and angry if stbx did not sign the paper but understood that in 2 1/2 years, he could legally do it without needing anyones signature.

Part of the reason I am sharing this for those of you who have teens. I had to stop worrying about the "drama" this may cause to stbx and focus on supporting my DS15. I haven't been purposely ignoring my DS15's request but I also hadn't given it my full attention. Now that I understand that it is developmentally appropriate to want to form an identity and he has been consistent in his request, I will now start filling out the forms.

If you have had experience with your teen changing last names before 18, I hope you will share your experience with me.

SBB posted 3/15/2014 19:01 PM

The sad clown would NEVER agree to this. Ironically he has his mothers maiden name, born X, adopted by 3rd husband Y, then changed to mothers maiden name with bro and sis. His older brother was from 1st husband so has been adopted twice - 3 names by age 12. The 4th is his mothers maiden name.

I hope X agrees but be prepared for a big reaction. These unremorseful WS don't take well to consequences of their action/inaction.

shiloe posted 3/15/2014 19:20 PM

This post made me think about what Arnold Schwartzneiger's (a.k.a. the sperminater) son posted on facebook, or maybe it was twitter. After the infidelity and other child new broke, his son said he wanted to change his last name to Shriver.

solus sto posted 3/15/2014 19:53 PM

I like your approach. I am supporting my son's use of my name, too. Surprisingly, Trac-Fone seems okay with it. I suppose this has more to do with our disposability than any enlightenment on his part, but at least he's not making noise about it.

Lyonesse posted 3/15/2014 21:37 PM

Please support him. When my parents divorced (infidelity related, I found out later, but at the time our mother was protecting us from that info) all three children began to use our mother's name. I think my younger brothers were just embarrassed by questions of why they had a different name from their Mom, but I was the oldest and I reasoned that since our mother was the one who was taking on the responsibility of raising us, any credit or accomplishments should go to her.

It was also a sign of solidarity with who we felt our true family was, and that we were still a family. A sign of solidarity with each other. The person who left had chosen not to be a member of that family, so we removed his name from it.

How the father absconding from his responsibilities felt about it did not cross any of our minds. If he wanted his name to live on, he needed to live up to it. Ironically, he remarried and had three daughters, so his name is dying out. His four grandchildren (my brother's kids), whom he has never met, all bear my mother's name.

Hooray for ZEBRAS!

[This message edited by Lyonesse at 9:38 PM, March 15th (Saturday)]

Lyonesse posted 3/15/2014 21:42 PM

Just wanted to add...having gone through that name change in my teens, and started my professional life with my mother's name, I did not then change my name when I got married. I was too identified with the ZEBRA family name as part of my identity.

Years later, when WS cheated, I was damn glad I hadn't taken his name. Fathers and husbands come and go, apparently, but I will always have me.

tesla posted 3/15/2014 21:42 PM

I think this is a wonderful way of dealing with the issue. Thank you for posting it.

Bluebird26 posted 3/15/2014 22:13 PM

My DS11 wants to add my last time to his, but the ex refuses to allow it. He is counting down until he is 18 to change it to my maiden name.

hugs to you and your DS, I hope STBX will sign the paperwork needed.

Bluebird26 posted 3/15/2014 22:17 PM

duplicate post.

[This message edited by Bluebird26 at 10:18 PM, March 15th (Saturday)]

ButterflyGirl posted 3/15/2014 22:57 PM

My STBX has the same first and last name as his father, who is a convicted pedophile in New York. Googling our last name sucks, especially since it's so uncommon.. And STBX had kept the name even though his mother remarried and changed her name 3 more times after divorcing his father when he was 6..

Stupid me for taking the name when we married. And now I don't even know if I'll change it back since I want to be the same as my boys.

STBX actually pleaded with me not to change their last names in the beginning. Guess he didn't realize I couldn't without his permission. But yeah, he's a slacker deadbeat piece of shit, and he doesn't deserve the honor.. I totally see how it's a developmental thing for kids. Hopefully I can be a rose that smells just as sweet no matter what you call me..

But I still might change I my last name to Buttercup just for the hell of it, lol.

dmari posted 3/15/2014 23:02 PM

Thank you thank you for the support, sharing of experiences and cautions! I appreciate sooo much!

SBB: I have to agree with you. Stbx will probably have a pissy fit and refuse but we have to at least try.

shiloe: I wonder if the son followed through and changed his last name?

solus sto: Trac-Fone is a douche.

Lyonesse: Thank you so much for sharing your point of view! Reading your response was such a gift for all of us. Here here to Zebras!

tesla: Hang in there mommy!

Bluebird26: Thank you for the hugs and I'm sorry your ex won't allow your son to change his name. Hugs right back at you! Even if he refuses to sign, at least we have a plan (inform school of preferred name).

ButterflyGirl: Hmmmm. Butterfly Girl Buttercup has a nice ring to it!

[This message edited by dmari at 11:04 PM, March 15th (Saturday)]

Jennifer99 posted 3/16/2014 07:30 AM

Thank you for sharing.

My 11yo asked about this (he also wants to know so he can tell my unborn DD how to change her name to Zia when she is old enough because he is sure I'm going to name her "something stupid"). My 11yo also understands its very unlikely his father would sign off on the name change. He's made peace with that possibility of waiting. Its funny what he chooses to have patience about.

I told him I'd keep my married last name until they were both grown then change it. If he can wait, I can too. SO it costs me another $100 later instead of free now.

As much as I want to be AWAY from stbxh, to me a name IS just a name at the moment.

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