Types of Marriage Cases
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.
If you believe that you have grounds for invalidity or dissolution of your
marriage under the laws of the Roman Catholic Church, your first point of
contact should be your local parish or a parish which you find convenient.
We encourage you to make an appointment with a parish minister (an Advocate)
trained and delegated to assist with the preparation of marriage cases. You
will be asked to tell your story to the Advocate, focusing on your religious
and family background, the events and circumstances that led to your decision
to marry, the wedding, and your married life. The Advocate will listen, help
clarify the key issues, determine what type of case you have, and assist with
procedural and jurisdiction questions. If it appears that the basis for a case
exists, you will receive forms appropriate to the type of case you have. You
are the Petitioner in the marriage case(s); your former spouse(s) is/are the
The following is a brief description of the six types of cases most often
handled by the Seattle Metropolitan Tribunal. If you have more than one previous
marriage, each must be addressed individually. The circumstances of each
marriage will determine the type of case that applies to each individual marriage.