Who is able to view my file?

The following are those who have access to the evidence: judge, defender of the bond, court notaries appointed by the judge, the two parties (during a period of fifteen days near the end of the process), procurator / advocates (if they are properly appointed by the parties), court experts (if appointed by the judge). We recognize the delicate and personal nature of the information gathered in this process.

We do not share this information with anyone not directly involved in the review. Church law guarantees the right of each party to know the other party's contention, as well as a summary of the witness testimony. An oath of confidentiality must be made before looking at the information. This right is observed by allowing parties, or their advocates, a controlled opportunity to review the information at the offices of the Metropolitan Tribunal, or at another tribunal if the person lives in another diocese. This means that copies of the documents cannot and will not be made and given to the parties.

The Metropolitan Tribunal exists as part of the ministry of the diocese. It abhors any malicious action on the part of the parties to hurt one another. The review judge can restrict the rights of either party to review the information if his or her intention is to not seek the truth, but rather, cause mischief and needless delay. In certain cases the review judge may seek the opinion of a qualified psychological expert.

These experts are held to the same strict standards of confidentiality as any other member of the tribunal staff. Such individuals are trained professionals who do not decide the outcome of the declaration of nullity but merely advise the review judge about the dynamics that could have contributed to the failure of the relationship.