My wife and I recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. We were both born and raised Catholic (though she was confirmed but I was not). I left the Catholic Church when I was about 13 years of age and my wife did when she was 16. We both left the Church for evangelical churches. We are now both 29 years old and have been married for five years. Due to immigration issues that popped up at literally the last minute, we ditched our wedding plan in NZ to be married by a Judge in the courthouse in the city we live in the US (my wife is American and I am from New Zealand).
I am curious as to whether, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, our marriage would be considered valid. I’ve heard that the Church recognizes any marriage between two baptized Christians (whether they be Catholic or not) as valid, even if the marriage was only performed by a judge rather than a minister or priest. On the other hand, I have heard that the Church would still consider us Catholic (or at least my wife since she was confirmed), thus our marriage would not be valid in the eyes of the Church. What is the truth of the matter? Also, if we were to seek communion with the Church, would that entail having to getting married again through a Priest?
Thanks for any responses!