Changing Surnames of Children after Divorce in Singapore

Matthew’s decision to change his surname to that of his wife’s

Matthew Broberg wrote about his decision to change his last name from Brender to Broberg.

He did it because:

  1. His wife did not consider changing her surname.
  2. He felt strongly about their family having a shared surname.
  3. It symbolises gender equality.

After he made the decision, he thought about what he was giving up and who he was distancing himself by doing this.

His wife asked him if he was sure. He was concerned that it would cause pain to his Brender family. He was concerned his family would feel ashamed. He was also worried about what would happen in a divorce.

However, he thought about his belief in gender equality and his view of family sharing a surname.

Eventually, he took the plunge as he felt the pros outweighed the cons.

See:Matthew (Brender) Broberg, “I Got Married and Took My Wife’s Last Name. Here’s Why.”, HUFFPOST, 4 January 2017

Changing surnames of ex-wife after divorce in Singapore by way of deed poll in Singapore

In my years of practice as a family lawyer in Singapore, I have not come across any man who took the plunge and changed his surname to that of his wife’s.

I had seen wife took on the surnames of their spouse only to revert to their maiden names after the divorce.

This can be done easily by way of a deed poll in Singapore. It is a personal decision and can be done at any point of time.

Changing surnames of children after divorce in Singapore

In some acrimonious cases I have handled, the ex-wives wanted to change the surnames of the children to their surnames. I do understand the practical concerns. For instance, if the ex-wives are young and they wish to remarry, they may want their children to take on the last names of their future husbands. This, however, cannot be done by way of a simple deed poll in Singapore.

However, changing surnames of children after divorce in Singapore is no simple matter. Even if the ex-wives were to have sole custody of the children, they would require the approval of the fathers before making certain important decisions for their children- for instance, relocation out of the country and changing their surnames.

It is only in very unique cases that changing surnames of children after divorce in Singapore can be done. For instance,

  1. The ex-husband could not be found after a substantially long period and the ex-wife makes a declaration in ICA affirming this; or
  2. The ex-husband voluntarily agrees to the changing of surnames of the child in Singapore.

For your concerns on children’s issues, including custody and access, please contact us today.

You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence

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