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Home | The Tribunal | Frequently Asked Questions Email, Print, Bookmark and Share
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions. Individual circumstances vary, and may require a more detailed answer. If you do not find the answers to your questions, or desire further detail, contact the Tribunal at 206-382-4830 or 800-950-4926 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday to speak with a member of the Tribunal staff.

What is marriage?
What marriages are considered valid by the Catholic Church?
Is marriage a sacrament?
Yes, if both spouses are validly baptized, the marriage is a sacrament.
What about marriage involving one or both parties who are not baptized?
Can non-Catholics receive the Sacrament of Matrimony, too?
Doesn't a priest have to be present?
How is it possible to declare a marriage invalid?
Isn't marriage forever?
What is divorce?
Does a Declaration of Invalidity (Annulment) mean that the marriage never happened?
Does a Declaration of Invalidity (Annulment) make children of the marriage illegitimate?
Besides declaring a marriage invalid, are there other ways of dealing with marriage cases?
What is the Tribunal?
What is the purpose of the Tribunal?
What are the steps involved in determining the status of a marriage or the freedom to marry?
How long does the process take?
Must the other spouse be contacted by the Tribunal?
What if the whereabouts of the other spouse is unknown?
What are the rights of the other spouse (the Respondent)?
What if the Respondent refuses to cooperate?
Why should the Respondent cooperate?
Who are Advocates?
How do I locate an Advocate?
Are witnesses necessary?
Can anyone be a witness?
Who will read what is submitted?
May future marriage plans be made?
What books contain further information on the Catholic Church and Marriage Cases?
 
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