Is There a Time Limit for Getting a Marriage Annulled?

Here’s a great article by Todd Spodek, a New York Divorce Lawyer. The laws that govern marriage and divorce for most states do not set a time limit under which a motion for annulment of a marriage must be brought. In fact, most states will leave such decisions to the discretion of the court hearing the annulment motion so long as the court will adhere to the rulings of other courts that were presented with the same or similar circumstances.

Some states, such as California, limit annulment to a certain period of time after a significant life milestone. As an example, California law limits an annulment on the part of an underage party at the time of the marriage to within four years after the underage party reaches the age of legal consent. This four-year statute of limitations is also true in cases of fraud that was not discovered until later, where the statute begins on the date that the fraud was discovered.

In general, the longer period of time that has elapsed since the marriage and the filing of the request for annulment makes it less likely that an annulment will be granted. In most cases the only exceptions to this generalization will be made in cases where there was a deliberate concealment of a fact that might have caused the other party not to enter into the marriage, such as concealing the existence of a previous marriage that ended in divorce or the fact that one party had a criminal record that was unknown to the marriage partner.

If there is a situation that would have prohibited one party from legally marrying, such as still being married to a spouse and not having obtained a divorce prior to the current marriage, an annulment may be granted regardless of how much time has elapsed. This is also generally true if the parties would have been legally unable to marry for reasons such as being under the age of consent or if they were related to each other in such a degree that state law would have banned the marriage.

A court is under no obligation to grant an annulment if the judge thinks that an annulment is not in the best interests of justice and thus, by extension, the interests of the parties involved in the annulment request. As an example, if the court feels there has been too great a time that has passed since the marriage and that the parties have accumulated too much property in common that a return to their pre-marital status would unfairly penalize on party, the court may dismiss the annulment action and suggest that a divorce is a better course of action.

Like a divorce, a request for annulment must be made in the state where the original marriage took place. If this is not possible due to the parties having lived as a couple in another state, an annulment request will be valid if the requesting party has met the state’s residence requirement for filing for divorce.

Recapping the above, most states do not place a time limit on when an annulment can be requested. There are some jurisdictions, such as California, where state law has established such limitations but even these can be subject to modification depending on the circumstances of each case. In any case, and regardless of jurisdiction or special circumstance, the advice of a domestic relations or family law attorney familiar with the appropriate state law should be consulted prior to beginning an annulment action.

Do You Need to Hire a Criminal Lawyer?

This article is by Michael Kotik – a premier Philadelphia criminal attorney. Being charged with a crime is never a positive experience. Some crimes are relatively low level legal issues that do not necessarily carry a jail sentence. This means that having a criminal defense attorney is not a legal requirement when there is no chance for a jail term and the only punishments are financial. However, this can still present a problem for an individual who pleads guilty because it generates a criminal history that the defendant may not have from prior legal situations. Merely having a criminal history for misdemeanors can be problematic in the future, as those convicted of certain seemingly small crimes can still be denied public housing, gainful employment or government benefits in certain conditions.

Do You Need a Clean Criminal History?
Having a clean criminal history can be a very important component of maintaining your good name when there are prospects for a bright future. And in some instances, those who are already gainfully employed in a professional field may actually have to leave that earning platform, which becomes a very expensive addition to a fine even when no jail sentence is included. This is especially true for industries like truck driving that require an even stricter adherence to rules of the road. Even a DUI charge can put a career on hold for several years. Your need for a criminal attorney always depends on the material case facts and the potential negative outcome following the conviction.

Can You Avoid a Jail Sentence?
Jail terms are common with many criminal charges, and always apply when felony charges are leveled by the state or federal government. All defendants in criminal cases are required by law to have some form of professional legal counsel who is effective and adequate according to the rules of the court. This evaluation assessment can be a problem when defendants are represented by a court appointed pro bono attorney, or even when the court requires the defendant to pay a minimal legal fee in addition to any sentencing. Going to jail can result in lost wages, or even employment in some situations. This just adds insult to injury when fines are included additionally as part of the punishment. Being on probation or parole can present trouble too for some convicted individuals, especially regarding drug charges. Even in misdemeanor cases, the defendant can receive up to one year in jail although it does not produce a felony record. Always remember that probation is often not available for those who have a prior record, so avoiding the conviction at any ate can be vital for the defendant.

What Can an Attorney Accomplish?
Many times having a reputable attorney handling a criminal case means that a full investigation can be conducted in the defendant’s behalf, establishing a counter argument and version of events. Many charges are applied on borderline or inadmissible evidence when the arresting police officer or the prosecutor are over-zealous in seeking a conviction. Prosecutors are not required to respect the rights of the accused beyond the basic assurance that a pro bono attorney will at least be representing your case. Pro bono attorneys are commonly actual employees of the same state that is pressing the charges and they must deal with the prosecutor every day on a wide variety of cases. This never bodes well for the defendant and many times an appointed counsel will walk the defendant directly into a conviction for professional protection. Defendants in criminal cases always need an attorney who will investigate the evidence, question the officers, and negotiate aggressively with the state attorney, including with illegal search and seizure cases. This may also include taking a case completely to trial, which prosecutors hate and appointed attorneys are reluctant to complete.

Always remember that retaining a criminal defense attorney to fight a criminal case is really an investment in the future of the defendant, but it is important to choose one with a solid track record of proven results for their clients. This is especially true regarding dismissed cases because of weak or inadmissible evidence. Prosecuting attorneys do not appreciate being upstaged in court, and having an attorney who is more concerned about the client than the perception of the prosecutor is an important quality for the right attorney. Always get a criminal defense attorney, and get a good one who can potentially win an acquittal or get a case dismissed completely.

Do you need a personal injury lawyer to get compensation

If you have been in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. This article by NYC personal injury attorney Steve raiser discusses how to get compensation after an injury. However, you must prove that the other party was negligent for your injuries or that a company manufactured a defective product that hurt you. While it may be in your best interest to hire legal counsel to help with your case, you don’t need an attorney to get compensation for your injuries and other damages.

The Case May Be Relatively Easy to Win By Yourself

In some cases, the evidence is so clear that another party was at fault for your injuries that the case isn’t contested. Instead, you get the compensation that you want in a quick settlement or after a short trial. It is also possible that the other side in your case doesn’t want you to go public or for details of the story to get out. Therefore, they will give you whatever you want to make a lawsuit go away.

The Amount You Seek May Be Relatively Low

You may not want to hire an attorney if the amount that you seek in damages is less than $5,000. Instead, you may be able to get what you want in small claims court or through mediation that doesn’t require legal counsel to be present. While you may be compensated for your legal fees as part of a settlement, there is no guarantee that it will happen. That could mean that you pay more in legal fees than you win from the person or entity that hurt you.

You Have a Good Understanding of the Law

If you feel like you have a good understanding of the law, it may not be worth hiring an attorney. However, you may still want to hire outside legal counsel even if you are a lawyer yourself. This is because an outside party may be able to take a more objective look at the facts in the case and make a better legal argument on your behalf.

How to Prove Negligence

Whether you choose to hire an attorney or not, you will need to prove that negligence occurred. First, you must show that your injuries could have been a foreseeable result of someone’s carelessness. From a legal standpoint, talking on a phone while driving a car or chasing someone across a slippery floor creates conditions where an individual could get hurt.

Next, you have to show that there were damages resulting from an individual’s negligent behavior. If someone was talking on the phone in their car, it wouldn’t be negligent if that vehicle drove past you without causing any physical injuries or damage to property. Damages may include the cost of medical bills, lost wages or the value of destroyed property such as a car or bike.

Proving a Product Was Defective

If you claim that a defective product caused your injuries, there are additional elements that you may need to prove. For instance, you must show that the product was used as intended when you were hurt. You must also show that it wasn’t altered in a substantial fashion when the injuries occurred. However, it is generally not necessary to prove that the manufacturer knew of the defect under strict liability laws.

Those who have been hurt and did nothing to contribute to their injuries may wish to talk with an attorney. While you aren’t required to use one to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, it is generally easier to win you case with legal counsel present. It may also allow you to spend more time focusing on your recovery as opposed to holding a defendant responsible for his or her actions.