Note: information is of a general nature and not intended to cover the technical details of any given case.
The Petitioner is the party who submits a petition and résumé according to the guidelines of the Tribunal providing sufficient evidence for a declaration of invalidity.
The Respondent is the former spouse who will be notified by the Tribunal about the petition and be given the opportunity to present his/her history of the marriage as well as any witnesses he/she chooses.
While the completion of the case does not necessarily depend upon the cooperation of this second party, his/her participation can be helpful.
Any special circumstances regarding the notification of the Respondent should be brought to the attention of the Tribunal.
The Witnesses assist the Tribunal in a deeper understanding of the parties, their marriage and its failure. They will be asked to give testimony according to questions sent to them by the Tribunal.
Sometimes professionals such as counselors, psychologists, doctors, etc., may provide the Tribunal with very useful information - - - but only with the written consent of the party or parties.
In Privilege cases, witneses may be asked to testify about the baptism or non-baptism of a party.
The Personnel of the Tribunal
The Judicial Vicar assigns a judge or a panel of three judges, who review all of the information and testimony received and make the final decision.
The Defender of the Bond attempts to argue for the validity of the marriage and sees to the integrity of the process.
The Tribunal Notary/Secretary assists in the processing of the case.
This is usually the priest or pastoral minister at the parish who assists and represents the petitioner or the respondent throughout the process.