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TM - Can a nonmember spouse unilaterally request that a minor child's baptism be cancelled and the child's records be removed from the rolls of the Church? If so, where is that procedure described?
JOEL - Request for name removal is fully described in the Church Handbook of Instructions. To summerize, the process involves the following:
- A signed written request from the member for name removal given to the Bishop.
- The Bishop completes a Report of Administrative Action form and forwards it and the written request to the Stake President
- A letter is then sent to the member informing him that his name is being removed from church records.
- After 30 days (a cooling off period in case the member changes his mind) the request and forms are sent to church headquarters
- Members name is removed from the Church records and a letter is sent to the former member indicating that the request has been completed.
The Church Handbook also states the following:
"A minor who wishes to have his or her name removed from the records of the Church must follow the same procedure as an adult with one exception: the written request must be signed by the minor (if over the age of eight) and by the parent, parents, or guardians who have legal custody of the minor."
So first of all the minor must wish to have his or her name removed from the church. Then the written request for resignation, that must be submitted to the Bishop, must be signed by the child and by both parents or whoever has legal custody. Therefore, the nonmember parent cannot request cancellation of the childrens' baptisms without the consent and signature of the child and the other parent. Once the children are over 18 they can decide for themselves if they want to remain members and would not need the signature of the parents. This is my opinion based on LDS Church policy.
TM - In a divorce proceeding (in a community property state)involving a member and nonmember, where the member spouse paid tithing during the marriage without the consent of the nonmember spouse, is the nonmember spouse entitled to reimburesment of that money?
JOEL - I very much doubt it. I am not a lawyer so I don't know what is possible in a divorce procedings, but as far as the Church is concerned there is no law that would require the Church to reimburse any tax free voluntary contributions made by a donor. Based on this fact, I can't see how any judge would require the member spouse to somehow give back to the non-member spouse some or all of the money that was paid in tithing.