Those participating in the process
Petitioner: The person petitioning the tribunal for a Declaration of Invalidity.
Respondent: Term used to identify the other party in the process; the individual responding to the petition.
Party/Parties: Petitioner and/or Respondent.
Witnesses: Names of individuals submitted by the petitioner and/or respondent who may be able to offer insights into a given marriage. Witnesses are often parents, relatives, or close friends of the couple. Witnesses are asked questions regarding the elements that should be present in any marriage as determined by the Catholic Church.
Experts: Counselors or other professionals with whom one or both of the parties of a marriage consulted. Counseling and professional records are not requested without a release of information form signed by the party(s) involved. Professional records are kept confidential.
Advocate: The petitioner and respondent designate in writing, a priest, deacon, or approved lay person to represent them before the tribunal. The tribunal can suggest an individual if necessary.