Divorce and splitting Donor Records

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tstrickland1
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Divorce and splitting Donor Records

Postby tstrickland1 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:08 am

Unfortunately a divorce is being finalized in our ward. The husband requested his donations be listed now only in his name. When the original donor record was entered it was entered Last Name, Husband & Wife. When we attempted to enter a new donor: Last Name, Husband the system would not let us since the original combined donor was linked to HIS member number and a second donor record to the same member number could not be added. Can the name of the original donor record be edited to just his name?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:36 am

tntstrickland wrote:Can the name of the original donor record be edited to just his name?


Yes, in fact that's the preferred method for this situation. To rename a donor, choose Add/Update Donors from the Donations panel. Find the donor, and click on the name. You'll see a screen where you can change the donor name, type, and address. Make your changes, and click Save.

All donations linked to that donor record (which is in turn linked to the husband's membership record) will then appear simply under his name. If any of the donations were made by the wife, then you'll have to create a separate donor record for her, with just her name, and linked to her membership number; then you would go into the relevant donation batches and change those specific donations to have her donor name.
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hpaulsen
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Postby hpaulsen » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:00 am

In our ward, most husband & wife donations are linked to both members via the "merge donors" feature. My understanding is that this cannot be undone. This would seem to complicate the process. The only thing I could see to do in this situation would be to rename the primary donor to remove the spouse, then rename the spouse to indicate "obsolete" and create a new donor that is not tied to the membership record of the spouse. This hardly seems ideal - are there better options?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:50 am

HPaulsen wrote:In our ward, most husband & wife donations are linked to both members via the "merge donors" feature. My understanding is that this cannot be undone.


There is no reason to create donors as "merged donors"; you should only have merged donors if the husband and wife were once separate donors, and then decided that they wanted only one donor record. The normal case would be to simply create a single joint donor record labeled "Doe, John and Jane" which is attached to the husband's membership record number (MRN). So it would seem unusual to have "most" couples having merged records (although they would very often have joint records).

Here's exactly what happens when donors are merged:

  1. The clerk identifies the two donors to be merged; Donor 1 is the one that will be retained and under whose name all donations will be listed.
  2. All donations for Donor 2 are changed to be from Donor 1 (this is the part of the process that cannot be undone, except by manually finding each donation and changing the donor back).
  3. Donor 2's donor status is changed from "Visible" to "Merged" (this part of the process is easily undone).
[UPDATE: See this post for a correction of Step 2]

There is no automatic renaming of Donor 1. So if Donor 1 was "Doe, John" and Donor 2 was "Doe, Jane" and Donor 2 was merged into Donor 1, the husband's record would still be called "Doe, John". It would generally be desirable to edit the "Doe, John" record and rename the donor to be "Doe, John and Jane".

HPaulsen wrote:The only thing I could see to do in this situation would be to rename the primary donor to remove the spouse, then rename the spouse to indicate "obsolete" and create a new donor that is not tied to the membership record of the spouse. This hardly seems ideal - are there better options?


If donor records had been merged to create the joint donor record as I described above, then there is no reason to rename the wife's donor record. That record still exists, and is tied to her MRN -- it just has a status of "Merged". All you would have to do is to change that status to "Visible".

I see no reason why you would consider renaming her donor record to indicate "obsolete." You already have a donor record that is tied to her MRN, so there is no reason to create a new one. Besides, you can only have one donor record tied to a particular MRN.

On the other hand, if the wife never had a separate donor record, then all you would need to do is to create a new donor record for her, tied to her MRN, as I described in my previous post. For the situation described in the first post of this thread, that would seem to be the case, since it said "When the original donor record was entered it was entered Last Name, Husband & Wife."
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:59 am

I'm trying to think about how to handle the year end tax receipt. Conceivably both are going to ask for a receipt for the period when they were married. But from all the advice so far, that donation record will be continued under one of their names. For example, if the joint record will be edited to be just the husband's, then how do you give the former wife just the joint donations?

(I'm unconcerned about handing out a receipt to both of them for the period they were married - it's up to them to figure out how much is his and how much is hers.)

I think this is worth a call to CHQ to find out if there's some options we're overlooking.

I'm wondering if there's a way to take the joint donation and make it a out of unit donor (since the "join" no longer exists). Then creating a new in-unit record for each one separately. Or does that create new problems?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:12 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Here's exactly what happens when donors are merged:

  1. The clerk identifies the two donors to be merged; Donor 1 is the one that will be retained and under whose name all donations will be listed.
  2. All donations for Donor 2 are changed to be from Donor 1 (this is the part of the process that cannot be undone, except by manually finding each donation and changing the donor back).
  3. Donor 2's donor status is changed from "Visible" to "Merged" (this part of the process is easily undone).


I guess I was living in the past. That is indeed how it used to work, but it's better now. The part that has been improved is that what I mentioned on Step 2. Apparently, the donations are not actually reassigned from Donor 2 to Donor 1, but rather a merge linkage is created that makes it appear that way.

The good news is that the "Merged" status for Donor 2 can be changed back to "Visible". At that point, a confirmation dialog will be displayed, saying "This action will break the merge with <Donor 1's name>". If you choose OK, then all the donations originally assigned to Donor 2 will once again be shown as assigned to Donor 2.

The only mystery is why when you embark on a Merge Donors operation, there is a big yellow warning that says "This action cannot be undone." That was true once upon a time, but someone went to a fair amount of work to make sure that this action could indeed be undone. So that warning should be removed.

I know this is a bit afield from the original topic of the thread, but I wanted to make sure I corrected the misinformation in my earlier post.
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