I would suggest that you speak to someone in the Tribunal office of your diocese. They are the people who handle annullments and really know the answers to your questions and are generally quite helpful. Parish priests, in several cases, have been know to give out incorrect information at times. The key point for getting an annullment is that there has to be proved that there was some impediment to the marriage before/when the marriage occurred (such as being too young, one person having a drug addiction, etc.) Your tribunal office can help answer your questions and tell you how to get the process started. It does seem to take a year (at a minimum) and sometimes much longer from start to finish to get your annullment. That said, most people that apply for annulments eventually get them. Hope this helps!
And, I forgot to say - welcome to the forums!
Was your spouse a baptized Christian?
Were you married in a Catholic church?
Was the dispensation requested from canonical form (i.e., to allow you to marry in another church) or for disparity of cult/mixed marriage (to marry a non-Catholic)?
If you're asking what to do to start your annullment, just talk to your pastor to get the process started. But, to really get correct information about the annullment process, talk to the Tribunal office for your diocese. (Sometimes, parish priests have been known to give out information on annullments that is not totally correct.) You can usually find a phone number for your tribunal office online these days if you go to your diocese website. Hope this helps!
I am not sure about this, but I think a lot of them are scared. I think they are scared it will be denied. I think they are scared that they will have to truly examine their relationship and realize that they are not entirely innocent themselves. I might feel that I made the moral decisions in my failed marriage, but when I wrote my annulment, I had to admit what I had done wrong too. Many people don't want to admit that to themselves.
I started mine as soon as I got divorced and I can honestly say it is a LONG AND PAINFUL process. It's amazing, heart wrenching and embaressing to write out the testimony. It's amost like you have to relive the whole relationship and the pain all over again. If I had known in the beginning how hard it would be I probably would have put it off awhile.