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

Frequently Asked Questions

On September 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued new law governing Marriage Cases Processes. This law is presented in two documents, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (for the Latin Church) and Mitis et misericors Iesus (for the Eastern Rite Churches), which are available on the Vatican website. This new law goes into effect December 8, 2015.

The current law governing marriage nullity cases remains in effect through December 7, 2015.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions on Marriage Nullity
FAQs on Marriage and Tribunal Processes
Questions and Answers regarding Marriage and Tribunal Processes. The questions are displayed individually below.
FAQs on New Law - Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus
Questions and Answers explaining the changes Pope Francis made to marriage nullity procedures, and how they might affect you. The questions also are listed individually below the questions on Marriage and Tribunal Processes.

FAQs on Marriage and Tribunal Processes
What is marriage?
How does the Catholic Church understand marriage?
What marriages are considered valid by the Catholic Church?
Does a priest have to be present?
When is a priest required or not required for valid marriage.
Is marriage a sacrament?
Can non-Catholics receive the Sacrament of Matrimony?
What about marriages of persons who are not baptized?
Valid, non-sacramental marriages.
How is it possible to declare a marriage invalid?
Is marriage forever?
What is divorce?
Does a Declaration of Invalidity (Annulment) mean that the marriage never happened?
more coming soon

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