Joint custody with a non-member parent

Discuss questions around local unit policies for membership (creating records, transferring records, etc.) This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
visick
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Joint custody with a non-member parent

Postby visick » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:13 pm

We anticipate baptizing (as a convert) a child of divorced parents. The child lives with his mother most of the time, a couple hours away. She doesn't object to the baptism but is a non-member. The child spends most weekends and part of the summer with his father, a member, in our ward. He would attend church exclusively in our ward.

The guideline "Membership records should be kept in the ward where a member lives" suggests that he should become a member of his mother's ward, and I know we could create an out-of-unit record. But in terms of new member follow-up, home teaching the family, primary classes, it would seem he might be better served by being attached to his father's household in our ward rather than being his own household in a ward he doesn't attend. Thoughts??

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:15 am

It may well be that the statement "He would attend church exclusively in our ward" is not necessarily true; there may be ways in which the ward where the child will live most of the time may fellowship him. But there do seem to be good arguments for having the membership record in your ward. I would suggest that the two bishops involved should discuss the matter and decide what is best for the child.
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davesudweeks
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Postby davesudweeks » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:08 pm

In our Stake, the Stake President approves any instances of a member's record being in another ward than the one they reside in. It is entirely possible that the situation is channelled higher as well, but I don't have that information.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:16 pm

davesudweeks wrote:In our Stake, the Stake President approves any instances of a member's record being in another ward than the one they reside in. It is entirely possible that the situation is channelled higher as well, but I don't have that information.


Actually, the official policy is that both bishops, both stake presidents, and the Office of the First Presidency all have to approve cases where a membership record is in a ward other than the place where the member lives (Handbook 1, Section 13.6). I wasn't trying to ignore that when I said "the two bishops involved should discuss the matter and decide what is best for the child." Clearly the administrative procedures will have to be followed. I was simply saying that the leaders closest to the issue should start the discussion.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

davesudweeks
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Postby davesudweeks » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:55 pm

aebrown wrote:Actually, the official policy is that both bishops, both stake presidents, and the Office of the First Presidency all have to approve cases where a membership record is in a ward other than the place where the member lives (Handbook 1, Section 13.6). I wasn't trying to ignore that when I said "the two bishops involved should discuss the matter and decide what is best for the child." Clearly the administrative procedures will have to be followed. I was simply saying that the leaders closest to the issue should start the discussion.

I 100% agree that this is where it should start. Just didn't want someone to get the idea that it could end here as well.

kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:42 pm

aebrown wrote:It may well be that the statement "He would attend church exclusively in our ward" is not necessarily true; there may be ways in which the ward where the child will live most of the time may fellowship him.

This is very true. Boys begin cub scouts and girls have activity days, often as weekday meetings, and as they grow older, scouts and YM and Young Women (mutual) often have weekday meetings. Youth Sports are often a weekday event. These are the times that youth can typically participate with those friends in their neighborhood and with friends from school, and when the child would be with his mother. Friends are a crucial influence to youth, and if you are not careful, he might not feel bonded with either ward's youth.

Although a membership can only be in one place at a time, it will be a mute point if a soul is lost through the eternities. It's is vital, in my mind, regardless of who holds the actual record, that TWO BISHOPS have stewardship over these children that spend time in their wards, regardless of who holds the record and will count them on their quarterly report. Communication and coordination, as aebrown mentions, must continue from two bishops to two ward councils and down to two sets of cubmasters or two sets of activity day leaders. If the "non-recording holding ward" wishes to create some kind of temporary membership record, so that the youth is remembered, that may be helpful.


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