Most persons, including family members, are eligible witnesses. Specifically excluded by Church law are confessors. In general, the tribunal does not accept adolescent or adult children of the parties, a current civil spouse or a prospective spouse of either party to offer testimony unless there is some special reason. The judge will contact the witnesses by mail usually within three weeks of accepting the petition. They are not required to appear at the tribunal office. The petitioner will be asked to provide the names of four or more witnesses who will be able to provide substantive testimony about the marriage. The respondent has the right to provide the names of witnesses.
It is important that the petitioner makes sure that the witnesses have agreed to cooperate prior to submitting their names to the tribunal. In addition, the petitioner should encourage the witnesses to return their testimonies to the tribunal office in a reasonable amount of time (i.e., two weeks). Failure of the witnesses to cooperate in due time is one of the main reasons for a delay in the processing of a case.