I’m happy for you. Truly, the annulment process is therapeutic.
I do not know your financial situation or which diocese you will apply to, but the Church never turns anyone away who cannot pay. The Church is willing to make payment arrangements, offer a reduced fee, or even do an annulment for free if the Petitioner cannot afford the fees. Some archdiocese in low income areas even do annulments for free.
Yes, the questions can be personal and embarrassing. However, considering the Church is trying to compassionately resolve a marriage issue one way or another, I don’t think the questions were too personal or too embarrassing. Remember, you aren’t that original! The folks at the tribunal have seen and heard it all before, believe me. And they are bound to be discreet. Nothing you say will be bantered about.
I did mine on my computer. I went to my archdiocese website, clicked the “marriage and family” section, found the link to the annulment paperwork, downloaded it, and began filling it out. I found myself editing, adding, rephrasing, etc. quite a lot. I think it took me about 3-4 day to be satisfied with my responses. If I remember right, the whole application for annulment was about 21 pages by the time I was done. This includes the pages were instructions and the pages of Witness names and addresses. It was surprisingly uncomplicated. And I felt so much better just having filled out the papers!
You will need copies of your marriage record, your divorce papers, your Baptismal record, pre-cana records if you were married in the Church, any counseling or police reports related to the marriage and updated names and addresses of 3-4 people who knew you and your ex before the marriage and during the early part of the marriage that are willing to answer a questionnaire about the marriage and who would have knowledge of the relationship between you and your ex.
For me, witnesses and paperwork were the hardest part. I had to send away to another state for the records requested and I had a hard time finding people who both qualified as Witnesses and who were willing to help. If I were you, I’d get started asking old friends and family if they would be willing to be Witnesses and gathering any paperwork you don’t currently have. The more you have done before meeting with your pastor, the faster you can turn in the paperwork and the faster the Tribunal can make a decision.
I was so gung-ho about getting mine done that I had everything in hand and ready to go when I met with my priest for the first time. All he had to do was make copies, review my questionnaire to determine grounds, and send it all to the Tribunal. He got a laugh at how prepared I was when I came into the office,