Given the answers to the preceding questions, in order for you to establish your freedom to marry you need to present a petition to the Tribunal to do a full examination of the act of marital consent that you and your previous spouse gave.
Please click on the button below to navigate to that petition form.
When a man and a woman, Catholic or not, exchange marital consent, that consent gives rise to an exclusive marital bond which is established for the good of the spouses and of children and is binding for life. That is what Christ taught what marriage is. As long as the act of marital consent was given in a manner acceptable by the law, civil and ecclesiastical, the Roman Catholic Church believes that marriage has been formed. Since the marital bond is unbreakable by any human power, the marital bond is binding for life. That is held by the Roman Catholic Church to be true unless it is proven otherwise in a judicial manner. If the act of giving marital consent was compromised for either party or both parties, that marital consent would not give rise to marriage that is binding for life. It is the integrity of the marital consent that is investigated in these judicial proceedings. If the investigation leads to a morally certain judgment by a minimum of four (4) judges – 1 in first instance and 3 at the appeal level – that the marital consent given was not wholly valid, one’s freedom to marry in the Catholic Church is established. Again the invalidity of the giving of marital consent must be proven in a judicial manner which by necessity involves testimonial and documental evidence.