Fixing Marriage Information

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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mkmurray
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Fixing Marriage Information

Postby mkmurray » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:42 pm

A few weeks ago, a man's record moved into our ward, and showed that he married his spouse about 5 months ago. It had her name and stated she was a member, but her record didn't come with him nor did it contain her birthdate. Just this week I was able to obtain her birthdate and request her record, which just came in tonight.

The problem I am having is that I am not seeing the correct way to now link these two together by marriage. When I try to "Edit" the husband's marriage information, everything about his spouse is grayed out. When I try to add a spouse to the wife's record, the husband is not an option in the list because he is already married. The only thing I can think of is to "Terminate" the marriage, which I am hesitant to do for obvious reasons. The only options you get for terminating the marriage are 3 legal ones and an "Unknown" reason; I'm hesitant because there is no "someone made a mistake" reason.

Also, as I was fooling around with this, I noticed a link to "Add Member to Household" for the wife in the marriage info. I clicked it and sure enough a record was made for the wife and she was added to the household. Now I realize the record is a merely a temporary or local one because the Record Number looked like a different format and contained our unit number. I also cannot remember if there was a Record Number at all before I hit that link. I guess the reason I bring this up is that I want to know if this fact will affect any solution suggested for the problem above. I imagine when I get the marriage fixed and pointing to the real record, I'll only need to remove the temp or local record from the household and be done with it.

Thanks in advance.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:37 am

mkmurray wrote:A few weeks ago, a man's record moved into our ward, and showed that he married his spouse about 5 months ago. It had her name and stated she was a member, but her record didn't come with him nor did it contain her birthdate.


Boy, it's been awhile, but I'd expect his record to contain her record number. That should be sufficient to request her record.

As to why only his record appeared, I'd have to guess that somehow it got processed as an "Individual" move, not as a "Family" move.


mkmurray wrote:The problem I am having is that I am not seeing the correct way to now link these two together by marriage.


What we need to clear up a little detail. There's the recording of the marriage ON the record and there's the issue of grouping the two of them together into a household. Those are two separate functions.

As long as each is recorded on each other's records, the recording ON the record is OK.

I'll have to poke around, but there should be a way to move the spouse into the "spouse" position of his household. I'll poke around in MLS a bit and report back - if Alan doesn't beat me to it. :)

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:51 am

OK, now that I've played with MLS a bit, I see the problem. Normally you would have both the membership record number and the birthdate of the spouse under the "current spouse" tab. We can ignore the missing birthdate, but if the membership number is missing, we have a problem. Check both spouses and insure thy are pointing to each other. If not, make sure you're working with the right couple. :D If it's still messed up, I'd either call SLC or send a message though MLS explaining the problem.

If both spouses are married ON their records OK but it's just a "household" grouping issue, you can try and go into his individual record, go to the "household members" tab, and click on "Add Member". I'm sure you can add her as a member of the household, but hopefully it will add her as a "spouse" and not as "other". In my tests, it does show "other" just before you commit to the save, but once saved, it shows "spouse".

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Postby mkmurray » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:42 am

RussellHltn wrote:Boy, it's been awhile, but I'd expect his record to contain her record number. That should be sufficient to request her record.

As to why only his record appeared, I'd have to guess that somehow it got processed as an "Individual" move, not as a "Family" move.

Could be, but I think the problem is that the previous ward only knew the name of the girl he married and that she was a member; I think, unfortunately, this is all they entered in the computer (if that's possible, I don't know). When his record came, it said he was married to said girl and that she was a member, but had no birth date nor record number.

I just got her birth date last week, requested & now received her record, and she is not married to anyone. Nor can I join these two in marriage because the man is married to some incomplete version of her record.
RussellHltn wrote:What we need to clear up a little detail. There's the recording of the marriage ON the record and there's the issue of grouping the two of them together into a household. Those are two separate functions.

As long as each is recorded on each other's records, the recording ON the record is OK.

I'll have to poke around, but there should be a way to move the spouse into the "spouse" position of his household. I'll poke around in MLS a bit and report back - if Alan doesn't beat me to it. :)

So I think I just established the problem is with the marriage, not the household. As for issues with the household, I'm not as concerned. Households are pretty easy to disassemble and then reconstruct without worries.

I did that with another household a few weeks back where a husband was individually requested out of our ward mistakenly and it broke up the household. When I added him back in, the wife was listed as "Other" instead of "Spouse." All I did was remove her from the household and then add her back in and MLS correct detected again that she was "Spouse."

But again, it's the marriage that has me worried. To me, it looks like a "Termination" is the only option to fix the marriage, but as I said none of the available "Reasons" say something like "Somebody Goofed Up"; they're all legal reasons (like "Divorce" and "Separation", etc.).

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:54 am

mkmurray wrote:When his record came, it said he was married to said girl and that she was a member, but had no birth date nor record number. (...) To me, it looks like a "Termination" is the only option to fix the marriage, but as I said none of the available "Reasons" say something like "Somebody Goofed Up"


That's the only choice if you are going to try to fix it yourself. I'd suggest using the MLS toolbar at the top and doing: Membership > Records > Special Requests. Attach his record and ask them to fix up the marriage to include the proper information. Include her membership number and birth date.

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Postby jbh001 » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:01 pm

mkmurray wrote:When I try to "Edit" the husband's marriage information, everything about his spouse is grayed out.
This is truly a vexing problem in MLS. I have had instances when I needed to edit marriage information. It seems that 90% of the time when the information is grayed out, I have randomly been able to got to the "Edit Marriage" screen and not have it grayed out. I think to myself "cool, I can collect the information and then enter it." But when I try to go back in and actually make the corrections everything is grayed out again. I have yet to be able to determine any pattern or reproducible sequence that gets me to the non-grayed-out marriage fields. That is what is so vexing about it.

I too recommend using the "Special Requests" feature described in the previous post to get the records corrected.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:26 pm

The following is worth a try: Individual record, pull up his record, go to "Current Spouse" tab. In the top pane where it says "Current Spouse" click "Edit" and see if you can change/select the spouse. In playing with the test database, it's grayed out for properly linked member spouses but not grayed out for non-member spouses. Perhaps because the links are incomplete, it will allow you to edit them.

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Postby mkmurray » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:33 pm

RussellHltn wrote:The following is worth a try: Individual record, pull up his record, go to "Current Spouse" tab. In the top pane where it says "Current Spouse" click "Edit" and see if you can change/select the spouse. In playing with the test database, it's grayed out for properly linked member spouses but not grayed out for non-member spouses. Perhaps because the links are incomplete, it will allow you to edit them.

Unfortunately this did not work. I don't think the linking is incomplete; I think the man is linked to an incomplete record (described in the next paragraph). Interestingly enough, I clicked on the wife's incomplete record link on the Current Spouse tab and tried to see if there was anything there. I could edit just about everything in the incomplete record, except for the record number (which was grayed out and blank; however, I have seen a temporary record number with the unit number in it for this incomplete record on a few other screens).

So to summarize, the husband is married to some incomplete record of the wife (no birthdate, place, nor membership number, but there is a name and the "Is a Member?" field says "Yes"). I now have received a different, complete record (with membership number, birthdate, etc.) of the wife who is married to no one. When I try to edit the husband's existing marriage linkage, it is all grayed out for the fields relating to spouse. Also the husband is not available to create a marriage link to from the complete record of the wife because he is already married to the incomplete record of the wife. Also, I don't see a way to somehow merge the complete and incomplete records of the wife together. Nor do I see some way to remove the marriage linkage between the husband and the incomplete record of the wife, without actually "Terminating" the marriage.

The incomplete record of the wife is not considered a non-member because "Is a Member?" is "Yes," but it does have one of those temporary record numbers that has our unit number in it (might have happened when I clicked the link on the Marriage screen that said "Join Household", or it may have always been a temporary record number from the start). Up to that point, the husband was married to said incomplete record of wife, but it wasn't in the household with him.

Anyway, tomorrow I have one of our Stake clerks coming to look at this with me, but he seems to think a Special Request will be necessary as well. I will keep you all posted.

Thanks.

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:10 pm

mkmurray wrote:The incomplete record of the wife is not considered a non-member because "Is a Member?" is "Yes," but it does have one of those temporary record numbers that has our unit number in it


If it has a temporary record number, you might be able to delete it and that might free things up. Otherwise it's sounding more and more like "special request".

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Postby mkmurray » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:34 am

RussellHltn wrote:If it has a temporary record number, you might be able to delete it and that might free things up. Otherwise it's sounding more and more like "special request".

This morning we deleted the wife's temporary record, but that didn't remove the incomplete marriage info on the husband's record, nor did it allow the marriage info to be editable in any way.

We have sent a Special Request off to Church HQ as it's the only viable option at this point.

As for the temporary record issue, I'm still not sure if it came with the husband's record or if it was created upon clicking the "Add to Household" link. Our Stake Clerk that came to help me today is a developer for the Church and seems to have occasional conversations with the developers who work on MLS. To his knowledge, he would think the temporary record came in with the husband. The meat of the issue, though, is that by removing the temporary record, you don't gain anything. Doing a Special Request is the only workable solution we could find.


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