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legal vs preferred name

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legal vs preferred name

#1Postby kirtkennedy » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:59 am

on the "new move-in" list it indicates Sanders as the last name. In the Directory it indicates Miller as the last name. They are one and the same person. Do certain lists pull from "legal" name field while others pull from "preferred" name field? If that is the case how do I handle a divorce situation when the individual wants to be known by their "maiden" preferred name and not their "legal", in the process of divorcing, name?
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#2Postby jdlessley » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:29 pm

The online directory uses the preferred name. If a sister wants to have her maiden name displayed in the online directory then her preferred name can be edited to show that. What you refer to as the legal name is the name on the records of the Church. It can be changed through MLS for these conditions:

  • finalized adoption
  • spelling correction
  • verified legal name change
  • new marriage for the member
  • divorce
  • member's preference to be known by this name
  • other
It appears the sister can have her name changed on the records of the Church before the divorce is final simply because that is her preference. So if she intends to use her maiden name on the records of the Church she can have that changed now.
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#3Postby russellhltn » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:54 pm

Has this person moved in by herself, or is it part of a family? Different tools behave differently when a member has a different last name from the Head of Household. In fact it might be worth a look in MLS as to what the "Household" family name is set to just in case it could have carried over from when she was separated from a family.
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#4Postby russellhltn » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:59 pm

jdlessley wrote:It can be changed through MLS for these conditions:

  • member's preference to be known by this name
It appears the sister can have her name changed on the records of the Church before the divorce is final simply because that is her preference. So if she intends to use her maiden name on the records of the Church she can have that changed now.


While I have no issues with changing her preferred name to match what she wants, can you cite a source for changing the full/legal name? Last I knew that was to be their legal name.

Page A-6 of the MLS manual states:
Name Changes
When a member has legally changed his or her
name, make the change on the membership record
as soon as possible. Follow this same procedure to
correct spelling or typographical errors. The bishop
should make sure all legal requirements have been
completed.
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.
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#5Postby eblood66 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:02 pm

jdlessley wrote:It appears the sister can have her name changed on the records of the Church before the divorce is final simply because that is her preference. So if she intends to use her maiden name on the records of the Church she can have that changed now.


Actually, if you select the option that says 'member's preference to be known by this name' it will pop up and say "Since this is not the member's legal name, please record this name in the preferred name field. The preferred name will print on all MLS reports." It will then put the new name in the preferred name field and revert the legal name back to its original value. If you select 'other' it tells you that you shouldn't change the name for other reasons.
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#6Postby jdlessley » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:23 pm

RussellHltn wrote:While I have no issues with changing her preferred name to match what she wants, can you cite a source for changing the full/legal name? Last I knew that was to be their legal name.
The source is MLS itself when making a name change. I will note that the MLS message is to cover situations in a number of countries. The laws of the land should be followed. I did not check to see what eblood66 stated. I am guessing that whether MLS allows the name change for member preference and "other" depends on the country. In the U.S., legal name changes must be filed with a court.

Therefore, the proper response for kirt1 who resides in the U.S. would be to change the preferred name and then change the name of record once the divorce is final.
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#7Postby aebrown » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:43 pm

jdlessley wrote:The source is MLS itself when making a name change. I will note that the MLS message is to cover situations in a number of countries. The laws of the land should be followed. I did not check to see what eblood66 stated.


But MLS doesn't say that you can change your legal name because of preference. Yes, MLS does have an option labeled "member's preference to be known by this name," but this is put there specifically to lead people to the important message that eblood66 quoted: "Since this is not the member's legal name, please record this name in the preferred name field." That makes it clear that preference is not a valid reason for changing the legal name. So it's not accurate to include personal preference when you say that the legal name "can be changed through MLS for these conditions."

You're right that the laws of the land should be followed, but Church policy is that the legal name must be used -- personal preference is not a valid reason to change the full name on a membership record.
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#8Postby terence » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:29 pm

kirt1 wrote:on the "new move-in" list it indicates Sanders as the last name. In the Directory it indicates Miller as the last name. They are one and the same person. Do certain lists pull from "legal" name field while others pull from "preferred" name field? If that is the case how do I handle a divorce situation when the individual wants to be known by their "maiden" preferred name and not their "legal", in the process of divorcing, name?


Rules for legal names go by local law; i.e., they are different in different states. In some states one can change their legal name by simply beginning to use a new name as long as their purpose isn't fraudulent. In others they must go to court. There is an instruction on this in the clerk's instructions.
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