Tribunal

 

What happens if the former spouse refuses to cooperate?

   
  The responsibility of the tribunal is to inform the former spouse of his or her rights in a marriage nullity case. The choice to exercise those rights or not belongs with the person. In requesting a declaration of nullity, the petitioner has asked the Church a question: Is my marriage considered valid by the Catholic Church. The Church therefore is obliged to give the person an answer. The tribunal attempts to gather as much information as possible in order to give an answer that is as well informed as possible. But if information is not available to the tribunal, it still must give the petitioner an answer.
   
  Therefore, if the other party chooses not to exercise his or her rights in the case, the tribunal will proceed with the case nonetheless. Lack of cooperation by the other party is unfortunate, since it deprives the tribunal of valuable information. But the tribunal cannot force people to testify against their will, and must reach a decision based upon the information it has been able to collect.
   

 

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