WHEN MARRIAGE TAKES PLACE OUTSIDE THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER
If residents of the Diocese of Fall River are getting married in another diocese, the couple normally completes the marriage preparation within their home parish within the Diocese of Fall River. The priest or deacon preparing the couple will send the complete prenuptial file to the Tribunal of the Diocese of Fall River for transfer to the (Arch)Diocesan offices of the (arch)diocese of the parish that will perform the marriage. This is required so that the parish, where the marriage takes place, is assured that the couple is free to marry and properly prepared for the Sacrament of Matrimony.
WHEN MARRIAGE TAKES PLACE WITHIN THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER
If the couple living outside the Diocese of Fall River are getting married within the Diocese of Fall River, the couple normally completes the marriage preparation within their home diocese/parish. The priest or deacon preparing the couple will send the complete prenuptial file to their own (Arch)Diocesan Chancery / Tribunal Office, who will transfer the prenuptial file to the Tribunal of the Diocese of Fall River, who will send the prenuptial file to the parish church where the marriage will take place.
A complete prenuptial file includes the preliminary investigation forms of both the bride and groom, certificates/proofs of baptism, other sacramental certificates, marriage preparation certificates (which may include FOCCUS results), permission of proper pastor, and, if applicable, any testimonies of free status, dispensations or permissions, or letter of good standing of the priest/deacon celebrant.
The prenuptial file CANNOT be transferred from parish to parish when the two parishes are located in different dioceses. In addition, the couple CANNOT hand carry the prenuptial file to the parish. If the file needs to be sent overseas or with special delivery, the shipping costs may become the responsibility of the couple who is getting married. In an emergency situation, in addition to sending the file overseas, the couple may hand carry a “photocopy” of their prenuptial file, if desired.
It is requested that the Tribunal receive prenuptial files for weddings outside the diocese at least 45 days in advance for weddings within the United States, and at least 90 days for weddings outside the United States.
For marriages outside the United States, a civil marriage ceremony may need to be performed before the wedding in the Catholic Church. (If the couple is already in a civil union, they will just need to produce a copy of that certificate.) It is the responsibility of the couple to inquire as to the laws of the country they will be married in, so that the civil effects of their marriage are attained. Please contact the Tribunal for more information to assist couples with planning their wedding in a foreign country.