The Tribunal must inform the other spouse (called the respondent) that the review has been initiated and must offer that person the opportunity to participate. Church law requires this. A letter is sent to the respondent giving him or her the option of fully participating in the process. If the respondent does not want to cooperate, the tribunal is not bound to wait indefinitely for a response before moving the case forward or bringing it to judgment. A reasonable time is given to the respondent to reply. The case will not be held-up by needless stalling tactics by one of the parties. The judge is free to set reasonable time limits, though some he cannot change due to the requirements of Church law.
The declaration of nullity process expects that the other party will participate by presenting information concerning the relationship. If their conscience, for whatever reason, would rather have them remain silent, he or she can rely on the justice of the court. This means that the review judge will assign someone to make sure that this person will be properly regarded in the process.