Respondent: How to fill out a questionnaire

The petitioner, the other party to your marriage, has asked the Tribunal to do an investigation into the validity of your marriage. In doing so, the petitioner has asked us to gather testimony and other evidence surrounding that marriage. The Tribunal considers your marriage to be valid until proven otherwise. The law requires that the judges be morally certain that the marriage is invalid to overturn this presumption of law.

As this is an investigation, as in all investigations, it is imperative that we have all the facts necessary to come to the truth regarding your marriage. There are several factors that could have led to an invalid marriage, i.e. lying, fraud, lack of due discretion, etc. Those factors must have been present at the time of consent, or when you said your wedding vows. Events from your past, your childhood, your understanding of marriage, etc. could have influenced your capability to fully consent to marriage. That could include divulging extremely personal information that would be evidence of why you were not able to consent to this marriage. Be assured that we treat your information with the utmost confidentiality: the information does not leave the Tribunal and can only be read by the Court, your Advocate, the Respondent (should he/she choose), and the Respondent's Advocate. The parties and their Advocates can only read the information once at an appointed time.

Because it is very serious to declare that a marriage between two people was not valid, it is very important that you give all the information you can – BE AS DETAILED AS YOU CAN – in answering the questions provided. As has been stated, THIS IS AN INVESTIGATION and in any investigation we need as much evidence as possible to come to the truth. Also, it will slow up your case if you do not give us enough information. When we do not receive enough information, the case is give to an auditor to do additional investigating. That takes extra time, so help your case by giving us all possible information at the beginning of the case.

Tips

  • DO NOT give merely yes and no answers. Explain in detail why.
  • The petitioner has asked the Tribunal to investigate the validity of this marriage; tell us why you feel the marriage is either valid or invalid.
  • The judges will be making a judgment of whether or not the bond of marriage was formed at the time of consent: make sure you include a lot of details on the period surrounding the time of the marriage - do not focus on how it ended.
  • Choose witnesses that can speak to the time of consent - people who did not know you when you got married will not be able to give us the evidence as to why the marriage bond was never formed.