okay, strong coffee okay? (unless you’re an Adventist or Mormon, I guess).
every year I deal with approx 20 families in various stages of marriage issues that result in eventual decisions on validity of a first marriage.
half are invalid due to lack of form (one partner was Catholic and did not obey Church laws on marriage).
about one quarter are invalid because either party had a previous marriage with civil divorce.
about 25% go to a formal canon law investigation which can take 6-24 months in this diocese (small staff, limited resources).
of those, and we are down to 5 cases from the original 20, 3 are found invalid within 6 months because the reasons and grounds are obvious and documented by testimony of witnesses, usually because one or both parties did not intend what the Church intends for the sacrament, could not and did not give valid consent, were married by force or convenience, or other readily proven grounds.
The other 2-3 take longer, because the case is complex, involves multiple previous marriages, witness hard to get whatever. Of those one will probably be declared null because it eventually is proven conditions at the time of marriage were against full proper consent. one or two will be declared valid, and a couple who has been counting on it will be disappointed and dismayed because they thought it was an automatic rubber stamp.
that is only my experience in the couple of parishes I work in, and I only see the beginning and end of the process, not the middle.
bottom line, until couples prepare properly for marriage and are properly disposed and give proper consent, which is not the case for the majority of couples who marry with at least outward attention to Catholic law, annulments will continue to be granted. Rx is better marriage preparation, better teaching on sex, marriage and family issues.