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Children want to change names, father says no from prison after saying yes

 
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 11:19 am
My children have an abusive father. He has a long record and has been convicted of several felonies both in Florida and Texas. My children are 11 and 10. They feel very strongly as to what they want to do and what they do not want to do in this matter. They wish to have no contact with him at all. They asked him if they could change their names. They are ashamed to have his last name and it has caused them many an explanation because my name and their Dad's name are different than theirs. I then sent the papers for him to sign so they could change their names since he said he would allow it but he then recanted. What is the legal age in the state of Florida that a child can choose to 'visit' with a parent or not? Besides removal of parental rights what can I do to help my children on this matter?
 
View best answer, chosen by Js Concern
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 12:30 pm
@Js Concern,
You can sue for sole custody and then you can decide what your children can do in all matters.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 06:13 pm
Go in front of the court and the children can plead their own case for changing their name.
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 12:02 am
The kids may be too young to make that decision Mrs Dahmer. Better wait a couple of years until they are older.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 12:11 pm
@NickFun,
I agree I see no hurry in changing the name and at their age the mother is more then likely to be the driving force behind this wish of their even if the mother is not fully aware of that fact.

They need to be older.
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sullyfish6
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 06:57 am
Sorry - but I think that kids this age do have strong feelings about this. But you need the help of a counselor to help these kids verbalize their feelings and decide what to do about their father. Don't try to do this yourself. You are too close to the problem.

Your school has social workers and/or can refer you to low or no cost counseling. Even a pastor or other adult can help. Some lawyers offer a free first time consultation.

Getting outside help with take the burden off you. You can step back and tell them that they are going to be able to talk about this with someone who can guide them better.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 08:56 am
@sullyfish6,
Yes children at that age indeed have strong feelings the problem being that those strong feelings is largely under the control of the mother in this case.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 10:20 am
It sounds like you've remarried since you mention that you and their dad don't share their last name.

But then you say "short of terminating his parental rights"... why don't you want to terminate his rights and let your current husband adopt them, then you could all share the same name?
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 10:30 am
@boomerang,
Terminating rights even of a parent that is servicing a prison sentence is not simple if he had no history of harming the children. Good luck on that!

I know of a case where the mother play all kind of treats on the father of the children wishing him to allow her new husband to adopt his children and change their name and his reply was hell no.

Once she even told him that the family was moving across the country and his reply was when are we moving?

I will sell my share of the business to my brothers dear ex-wife and I can always find a job in my line of work so when are we moving.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 11:04 am
@BillRM,
I doubt that guy commited a string of felonies and got sent to prison as those are not really the hallmarks of a man who wants to parent his children.

These kids do need to realize that changing their name doesn't change who they are or who their dad is. If their dad is some kind of notorious criminal I could see where carrying around his name might cause the kids some trouble. (Imagine being Charles Manson Jr., or something like that.) Changing their name might give them a little slack.

My son wants to change his name (just because he likes the name he made up better and that's what everyone calls him anyway). I've been investigating the laws. It's a little more complicated for a minor to change their name but certainly not impossible.
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 12:31 pm
@boomerang,
I doubt that guy commited a string of felonies and got sent to prison as those are not really the hallmarks of a man who wants to parent his children.
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I see little connection between being a crimial and not being a good parent otherwise.

I do see a mother who is wishing to wipe him from her and her children lives and as she is the one who pick him to be the father it is not that simple nor should it be.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 03:02 pm
@BillRM,
Really? Hmmm.... in my book a father who spends a lot of time in prison for felonys doesn't get high marks for being a good dad. In fact, I think I would put him in the crappy dad category.

I see a mother saying that her kids are ashamed of their name. Maybe she's pushing it and maybe she isn't. I don't know how long she's been with her current husband.

I can say from experience that our son hated having a different last name than us -- he lived with us for four years prior to our adopting him. Having our last name was really important to him.

Some people need wiping from a kid's life. My son hasn't seen his biological father for many, many years and we have a wonderful relationship with his (the father's) parents. They're an extra set of grandparents to my son. They tell their own son to stay the hell away.

I'll reserve judgement until I know more of the story.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 03:10 pm
@BillRM,
Bill, the initial post said that their father is abusive and has a long history
of being in prison. He certainly wouldn't be a role model for my kids regardless
if he biologically conceived them or not. It takes much more than that to be
a father. What you're projecting in this, Bill, is either your own experience or
someone you know of. Every situation is different, please see it as such!
Js Concern
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 07:52 am
Thank you all for your views and advice. I have actually thought about sending them to an independent counselor. There is a lot more to this than I wrote. I have actually tried to reunite my family unit over 3 times including moving to 3 states to do so even after he was in prison. My children have gone through a lot and I see them finally happy in their own skin but hating their last name. My husband would love to adopt them and has supported us all for 5 years now. I could have lost my life and both my children in one day due to the father loving drugs more than anything else. He took my 10 month old at the time in a car to buy cocaine in the state of Florida. It was August and 102 degrees out. My Dad and Mother found the car with her in it. She was locked inside, passed out in her car seat with absolutely nothing in a bottle for her to drink. Had my parents not found her then, she would have died. I was in the hospital as I was pregnant with our son and they were trying to stop me from having him too early. Due to all this, I got too upset and had him way too early. He made it through and I just could not bring myself to leave my husband. My son now has medical problems that are very expensive and it is from having him early according to the specialists. He takes very strong medications as we cannot keep his seizures under control. My daughter is now coming into her own as she is pre teen. This is a very sensitive time for her and because she is so so sensitive my fears for her are totally different than her outlook on this name thing. Oh, yes, it would be nice not to be pulled like a puppet myself and be the face they see telling them one thing they have hope for and then the same face then having to take it away. It's truly a puppet master situation and he does so enjoy his games and always has. I am finally personally free of his control thanks to therapy but he knows as long as I have to go to him for things of a legal nature like saying where we live that he can maintain that control and manipulation of us all.
For some of you, this will sound bitter and all about me and what I want. I do try not to project any of my feelings onto them but they are extremely intelligent and want what they want. I am not naive enough to think that some of my feelings are still perceived through all this by my children and always will be as they have always had me to turn to and we know each other well.
If I were to say they want some form of security that their father would not be able to manipulate their lives ie (leaving the home they know again, losing friends, not seeing their grandparents anymore, looking for cops as they drive down the road, shame of having a parent in prison) security then that is what comes through the most to me and so, yes, adoption or sole custody would fix that. Florida, however wants the child support and will not entertain releasing him from his thousands of dollars of back child support and reimbursement for the health program I use for my children. My daughter has to go to Shands every year-very expensive. I have had to rely on help from the state in the case of medical as we cannot put them on my husband's health policy since he cannot adopt them. So, like I said lots more to this.
I hope you all see this and can update what you may know from all I have said here. It has been one thing after another and I am just giving you one instance of his 'parenting' on his own.
0 Replies
 
Js Concern
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 08:00 am
@BillRM,
I don't play games. I simply want my children to be happy, healthy and whole as well as safe. This is not a termination of the children's choices as far as seeing their father or not. This is the selfish act of a selfish man that has never put anyone or anything above his vices. I find the gentleman you describe admirable by t he way as he appears to go to the max to be included in his children's lives. I know that the cloth cuts both ways.
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Js Concern
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 08:05 am
@boomerang,
It is so much more complicated than just going to court. Yes, my children want my husband to adopt them. They want to be sure that their father cannot come and take them-ever. He wants to adopt them and I am not opposed to that. I have offered to have simply have them carry my maiden name as I still do as an option. The healthcare is very complicated. Please read the large reply to all I wrote. Thank you so much for replying!
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Js Concern
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 08:07 am
@sullyfish6,
I was told by DC&F they will force the children to see him. That should say it all along with my lengthy reply to all. Thank you though!
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 10:23 am
@CalamityJane,
Bill, the initial post said that their father is abusive and has a long history
of being in prison
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A woman said her ex-husband is abusive and that prove what my friend other then the ex said that he is abusive?

Let see something like 80 to 90 percent if memory serve me correctly of claims of child sexual abuse by the father place by the mother in a custody action had been found not to be true.

My ex-wife once claimed under oath that I had assaulted her and the only one who was assault in that relationship was little old me by her.

He does not loss his rights as a parent because he was sentence to prison for some crime period end of the subject.
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BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 10:36 am
You know it seem to me that the mother had been transmitting her fears and hate for the man who father her children to those children and off hand that is an unwise thing to do.

No way are such children, at the ages given, is going to wish to cut off their father from their lives without the mother projecting hate and fear of him to her children.

That is my problem let them get older and let them have some control contact with their father and reduce the hate you are projection toward the man who you lay down with and have children with.

You did not have these children by your current husband but by the man now in prison and no name change or adoption is going to change that fact.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 10:54 am
@Js Concern,
I was told by DC&F they will force the children to see him. That should say it all along with my lengthy reply to all. Thank you though
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My friend DC&F can not force anything only a court and a judge can force your children to see their father after a hearing where you and they can bring up why that should not be allow.

The worst from your viewpoint that DC&F could do is support the right of the father before the court to see the children.

This misstatement is one hell of a red flag by itself.

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