I am Catholic, and currently engaged to a non-Catholic (who is discerning his conversion), that made a terrible mistake a few years ago by getting married in a civil ceremony to a woman for her citizenship. With that said, the marriage was nothing but a business agreement between the two parties, with no involvement between the two whatsoever.
Both are now extremely regretful and embarrassed of their decisions, and realize the seriousness of their decisions both morally and legally.
We both would like to be married in the Catholic Church, but have been told that he will first need an annulment before doing so. I have done a little research, and have found that the Lack of Form applies to their case (or so I believe). She is baptized Catholic and he is not, and were both married by a judge without any dispensations from any Catholic authority before doing so. I understand that the Church doesn't recognize their civil divorce, but have found some answers saying that a civil union is recognized, and others that say it isn't, so is an annulment even necessary in this case?
As we would like to be married as soon as possible and have this situation which has been haunting him for a while behind us, would anyone know if the Lack of Form applies in this case, and if so, any approximate time frame it would take to receive the declaration of nullity? Since she is the Catholic I understand that she would be the one to file, but does anyone have firsthand experience regarding the Lack of Form case of annulment? I'm praying that this is the situation, and we're both terrified that it could be another case which could take up to two years or more to finalize.
Any help, advice, and prayers are greatly appreciated! :)