Stephen the following information comes from The Dilemma of Divorced Catholics by John T. Catoir, JCD.
"A civil divorce is a legal dissolution of the marriage contract. In a divorce, the bond that once existed is legally severed by the state. The Catholic Church does not believe in divorce. It can never sever a true marriage bond. A Church annulment is not the severing of an existing marriage bond. It merely says there never was a valid bond in the first place. Therefore the marriage contract was never legally binding. Before the annulment process begins, the Church must be sure that reconciliation is no longer possible. This is necessary to protect the Church. In the past there were cases where a spouse opposed to the breakup of the marriage sued the Catholic Church for the alienation of affections."
I can understand the problem. However, in my case the Church thru first a counselor in Catholic Charities and then a deacon, who is also a practicing civil attorney, did nothing to advise my Ex about her duty to obey the Roman Church, her vows, and the CHURCH failed to "be sure that reconcilation is no longer possible" becasue they NEVER tried. Now I can tell you as having practice law for 24 years, I GOT an action for alienation of affections. The Church failed from the beginning - 40 years ago - to insure a sacramental marriage or actually not allow it, but it FAILED. Don't put the whole MONKEY on my back and don't tell me that an annulment will come if I Kiss their behinds or make-up testimony, both of which has occurred.