Based upon the information that was submitted, a tribunal official will determine the process that is to be followed.
Regardless of the selected process, both the petitioner and the respondent will be able to read the testimony submitted, except that protected by civil law (for example, counseling records).
If a marriage is declared null, does it mean that the marriage never existed? It means that a marriage that was thought to be valid civilly and canonically was in fact not valid according to Church law.
A declaration of nullity does not deny that a relationship existed.
Why does the Catholic Church require an intended spouse, who is divorced but not Catholic, to obtain a declaration of nullity before marrying in the Catholic Church?
The length of common life is not proof of validity but a long marriage does provide evidence that a couple had some capacity for a life-long commitment.
It does not prove or disprove the existence of a valid marriage bond.
The Catholic Church respects the marriages of non-Catholics and presumes that they are valid.
Thus, for example, it considers the marriages of two Protestant, Jewish, or even nonbelieving persons to be binding for life.