The Catholic Tribunal office is one of the least efficient offices I have encountered in years.
So much of our waiting is for them to send some paperwork out to be filled out by someone. I wish when the paperwork is originally accepted by the tribunal to have a case, they would send out all of the paperwork on the same day. Instead, you have to wait 30 days for the ex-spouse to have their papers, then another 30 days if they do not respond. Then you are given additional forms to fill out, yet they are essentially the same questions on the original questionnaire with only about 5 new questions out of twenty. There are questions for your witnesses to fill out and again if they do not return within thirty days then you wait another 30 days again. And the counselor gets 30 days and when they do not turn in their papers, you get to wait again.
(Side vent: How can a professional Counselor fail to turn in official paperwork by the deadline? When you accept this type of side job, then please meet with the person and within 14 days submit your paperwork to the Catholic Tribunal office. Meeting with the professional Counselor and then they are too “busy” to type up their document within three weeks is just ridiculous.)
These months and months of pushing paperwork here and there could really be completed in two months. Here is what the person at the Tribunal office needs to do. First, create a checklist of documents that the Tribunal office will want to review when deciding if the marriage was valid. Our checklist thus far would include:
- letter and questions for the ex-spouse
- additional questionnaire for the petitioner focusing on the top three reasons that you are proposing as reasons for the invalid marriage
- Witness Questionnaires
- Questionnaires for the parents
- Character Witness Questionnaires
- Counselor Letter,Counselor appointment and Counselor documentation
Second, the person sends all of this paperwork out on the same day. Third, the Tribunal office employee sets a reminder on their calendar to review this file in 31 days to see if the checklist was completed. If not, they send out an email and/or put a letter in the mail reminding those who have not returned their paperwork that they have 30 additional days.
It just frustrates me to see how inefficient this office is. When you ask if they have put the next round of documents into the mail, they take their time to respond. Also, why are they putting everything in the postal mail. Our witnesses would have been more than willing to receive these papers via email. They could have typed up their responses and returned them much quicker.
I just do not see a reason for everything to be printed and mailed via the post office in this world of technology that we live in today. Dragging out the annulment process for paperwork pushing is a huge waste of our lives and delays to our future wedding. We have spent months in this inefficient investigation. I hope that the Catholic Tribunal Office will improve their process and speed up the paper format of investigation into the validity of the marriage.