There are many misconception regarding annulments of marriages in the Church. They include the falsehood that they cost a lot of money. They don't.
Another is that it takes years. Not true. Some annulments take as little as three weeks some can take months or perhaps a year. Until you start the conversation you do not know how long it will take.
Finally, an annulment has no effect on the legitimacy of children. An annulment deals strictly with the sacrament of marriage on the day the couple professed their vows. Children of the marriage are and always will be children of that marriage.
The Church has a great respect for the ability of a person to keep a promise and to bind himself in lifelong fidelity. She takes people at their word. Every marriage can be endangered by crises. Talking things over together, prayer (together), and often therapeutic counseling as well can open up ways out of the crisis. Above all, remembering that in a sacramental marriage there is always a third party to the bond – Christ – who can kindle hope again and again.
Someone for whom marriage has become unbearable, however, or who may even be exposed to spiritual or physical harm, may divorce. In these cases, even though the common life is broken off, the presumed sacramental marriage remains valid. (CCC 1629, 1649).
Indeed, there are also cases in which the crisis in a marriage ultimately goes back to the fact that one spouse or both was not fully knowledgeable, present or serious about the Sacrament on the day of the wedding or did not fully consent to the marriage due to one or more circumstances. Then the marriage may be invalid in the canonical (legal) sense. In such cases an annulment petition to have the marriage declared null may be requested.
Seeking an annulment may bring great healing and closure. It also may free the individuals to re-marry in the Church should they choose to do so.
Please check out the links below or contact Father Codega for more information about the possibility of an annulment.