Posts made in February 2014

Lawsuits and How they Work

By Lee Ann Obringer

You step in a puddle of spilled cooking oil in a grocery store and break three bones in your hand. You’re a concert pianist. How can you recover your lost income?

Your landlord claims you broke several things in your apartment that you didn’t pay for. You know they were broken when you moved in. The forms you signed when you moved in don’t specifically mention those items. How do you keep from having to replace something you aren’t responsible for? Continue reading

Annulment Laws

Nullification of a marriage is commonly called annulment. Annulment is the process by which a Court states that a marriage never legally existed. An annulment must be based on mental illness, fraud, forced consent, physical incapacity to consummate the marriage, lack of consent to underage marriage or bigamy. Children of a marriage annulled for bigamy or mental illness are legitimate. In anullment cases, the court may award custody of children of the marriage and require payment of child support and support of a party. Annulment is different from divorce.  Continue reading

What is an annulment and how is it different from a divorce?

By Lee Ann Obringer

Like divorce, annulment also dissolves a marriage; but unlike divorce, it indicates that the marriage never happened. An annulment is often required in the Roman Catholic Church in order for someone to remarry. Grounds for an annulment vary by jurisdiction but usually include: Continue reading

How Landlords Work

Real Estate Image Gallery

By Dave Ross

Landlords sometimes get a bad rap. In the minds of disgruntled tenants, the landlord is the guy who collects money every month, takes two weeks to fix a leaky faucet and hasn’t painted the front of the building since the Ford administration. But the truth is that being a landlord can be hard and often thankless work. Perhaps that’s why so many landlords now call themselves “residential rental owners” to avoid the stigma associated with the ancient profession. Continue reading

What are the rules of the eviction process?

Pesky tenants who don’t pay their rent or who don’t treat the landlord’s property with anything resembling respect are not as easily gotten rid of as calling the exterminator to eliminate six-legged creatures. In most states, the landlord first has to send the undesirable tenant a formal letter of notification that spells out what the problem is — whether the tenant is behind in paying the rent or whether he’s otherwise violating the terms of the lease (destroying property or making too much noise, etc.). The tenant is given the choice of shaping up or shipping out, or eviction proceedings will be started. Continue reading

Top 10 Controversial Court Cases

A black student, Nathaniel Steward, recites his lesson on May 21, 1954, at the Saint-Dominique school in Washington after segregation in public schools was outlawed.

STAFF/AFP/­Getty Images

By Cristen Conger Continue reading

How to Evict a Tenant

As a landlord, you always try to rent to the most responsible tenants. However, sometimes problems arise. If you’re put in a compromising situation, exert your right as a landlord to evict the troublesome tenant. Read the steps listed below and learn about how to evict a tenant from your property. Continue reading

How Prenuptial Agreements Work

by Margaret Franson

Are you planning to get married soon? Remember thinking it was going to be a simple affair? Now your simple affair involves 400 people, eight live swans and a stage manager. Be prepared: Thefinancial side of marriage can also be a lot more complicated than you expect.

The pre-wedding period is a happy time of love and growing commitment. Most engaged couples, of course, believe that their marriage will last “until death do us part.” They certainly don’t want to think about an unhappy ending to their life together. Continue reading

How Divorce Works

By Lee Ann Obringer

Chances are, we all know someone who is divorced — probably several someones. In 2000, there were over 957,200 finalized divorces in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau says that 50 percent of all marriages entered into today will end in divorce. That’s a lot of broken homes, heartaches and paperwork, not to mention money spent on attorney fees and court costs.

But, some say those percentages of future doomed marriages have to be interpreted based on other factors. Barbara Whitehead and David Popenoe’s “The State of Our Unions” (2004), which was prepared at Rutgers University for the National Marriage Project, says that there are several important social factors that affect that 50 percent estimate. For example, your risk of divorce decreases by: Continue reading

10 Most Important U.S. Supreme Court Cases for Journalists

By Marie Willsey

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” Frederick Douglass, 1860.

Douglass’ words echo the beliefs of the founding fathers, who considered freedom of the press so important that they established its rights in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The press played an important role in the events leading up to and during the American Revolution, when newspapers helped spread information about the struggle for independence from Great Britain across the colonies. The founders fought to preserve the very freedoms that helped the young nation to gain support for its ideals. Continue reading