Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington
55 Joy Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403     802-658-6110

Contact Staff

Judicial Vicar
Reverend Luke P. Austin, J.C.L

Tribunal Manager
Mrs. Katie Reis

Defender of the Bond 
Reverend Thomas Mattison

Defender of the Bond
Reverend John G. Feltz

Defender of the Bond
Reverend Msgr. John J. McDermott J.C.L.

Reverend Daniel J. Jordan, J.C.L.
Reverend Luke P. Austin, J.C.L
Reverend John Mahoney

WHO MAY SUBMIT A PETITION? Anyone who has been previously married, whether baptized or unbaptized, Catholic or non-Catholic, may seek a declaration of nullity. A petition must be submitted in writing before the Tribunal which has jurisdiction in that particular case. The Tribunal’s jurisdiction is determined by such factors as where the wedding took place or where both parties currently reside. The Tribunal does not usually accept a petition until a person can prove that a civil divorce has already been granted.

WHAT ABOUT CONFIDENTIALITY? Only the Petitioner, Respondent, and the Tribunal staff have access to the case material. Your pastor reviews the initial petition, but then is unable to see further information without your consent.

HOW LONG DOES THE PROCEDURE TAKE?  The cooperation of the Petitioner, Respondent, and witnesses - and the quality of their testimony - have a significant effect on the length of time each case takes. No two cases are alike, but the norm is 12 months. The Tribunal is required by law to give a specified amount of time to various steps in the process. Your cooperation and patience are important. There is no way that any member of the Tribunal staff can predict when a given case will be finished. Finally, you should know that Diocesan regulations stipulate that no new marriage may be scheduled in any Catholic parish unless an affirmative decision is reached.

IS THERE A FEE FOR TRIBUNAL SERVICES? No, there is no cost for a formal annulment case in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

AM I GUARANTEED TO RECEIVE A DECLARATION OF NULLITY?  There is no guarantee. There must be evidence that an essential element of marriage was absent, otherwise the Judge cannot rule that the marriage was invalid.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF AN ADVOCATE?  An advocate is a bridge between a party and the Tribunal. The advocate answers questions and concerns as they arise and provides encouragement and moral support throughout the process. This compliments the assistance given by your local parish.

Our advocate can assist you with:
  -Taking the time to explain the process and how it works
  -Helping petitioners determine what grounds exist that best support your case
  -Crafting a comprehensive autobiographical essay
  -Determining whether other useful evidence exists that might strengthen your case
  -Helping you choose witnesses
  -Answering any questions that might arise during your case
  -Protecting your rights throughout the case

The advocate for Petitioners is Rev. Daniel Jordan, JCL, pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Williston and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Richmond. If you would like to speak with Fr. Jordan, please call the Tribunal at 802-658-6110, ext. 1331 for assistance.  If you are a Respondent, please call the Tribunal with any questions.

Physical Address:
55 Joy Drive - South Burlington, VT 05403
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Contact Numbers:
Telephone: 802-658-6110

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