When is a decision made?


When the information gathering phase of the process is completed, the parties and their procurators are informed and given a two week period in which they have the right to review the evidence and offer additional data and/or observations regarding the case. The case is then forwarded to the defender of the bond who is required to argue for the validity of the marriage, if appropriate, and to guarantee the rights of both parties and the Church. The judge, or panel of three judges, to whom the case has been assigned will render the decision after a thorough study of all the material.


A decision may be affirmative or negative. An affirmative decision means that the marriage has been declared invalid. A negative decision means that the invalidity of the marriage has not been established; therefore, the marriage is still binding in the eyes of the Catholic Church.



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