Fee Policy

 Fee Policy


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Canon law ensures that persons can vindicate and defend their matrimonial rights in Church courts. While Tribunal services are available to all, someone must pay for these services--staff salary and benefits, supplies, postage, facilities, and other costs.



Who should pay?


There are three possibilities:


The petitioner;


The parish, which means those who contribute to the parish;


The Diocese, which means those who contribute to the Catholic Ministries Appeal.


In some cases, the petitioner can readily pay the entire amount. In other cases, the petitioner cannot afford to pay anything at all. Parish ability to pay is situational as well. Trying to be both fair and flexible, the Diocese of Rochester has decided the cost should be shared by the petitioner, if he or she is able to pay (supported by the parish if necessary and if possible), and the Diocese. Based on this principle, the Tribunal has developed this payment policy:



No one is turned away for lack of ability to pay.


We request verification of the petitioner's inability to pay.


We encourage the parish to help with the payment, if possible.


We will waive the portion of the fee that the petitioner (together with the parish) cannot pay.


We will waive payment even if the inability to pay is temporary, but ask the petitioner to consider partial or full payment if and when his or her financial situation improves.


At least $100 of the full fee is requested when the Application for Marriage Investigation is submitted. The balance is due when the grounds for the case are determined. If a petitioner's financial situation requires smaller payments during the process, deferred payment, or that the fee be waived, the Case Sponsor should submit a written request to the Tribunal and attach the petitioner's IRS W-2 form.