I have a friend interested in converting to Catholicism, but she is divorced and worried she will not receive an annulment in order to remarry in the future. Can she go through the annulment (or petrine privilege, since her ex was never baptized) process before converting?
Yes, during her conversion process she can apply for a Petrine Privilege. A Petrine Privilege is different from an annulment. An annulment determines that no valid (natural or sacramental) marriage ever existed, a Petrine Privilege dissolves a presumed valid natural marriage.
What is a Petrine Privilege?
This is a request to the Holy Father to dissolve a marriage between a baptized and an unbaptized person, or two unbaptized persons. There are four requirements for this privilege:[list]
*] At least one of the parties had to be unbaptized at the time of the marriage and throughout the time they lived together
*] If after the marriage both parties become baptized, no sexual relations occurred after both were baptized
*] The one seeking the privilege cannot be the one responsible for the failure of the marriage
*] If the privilege is requested to permit a Catholic and a non-Catholic to marry, the non-Catholic must give the Catholic full freedom to practice his/her faith and must promise to raise all children in the Catholic Church.[/list]
Further reading: Diocese of Venice Sample Form