Burke Levy, P.C.

Westborough Legal Blog

It takes more than biology to be recognized as a legal father

Like many other men here in Massachusetts, one of your goals in life was to become a father. That day may have come, but you weren't married to your child's mother. You both may have assumed that since your name is on the birth certificate, the law recognizes you as the father, but you would be mistaken.

The only time the law assumes that a man is the legal father of a child is when the biological parents are married to each other. In any other case, biology isn't enough. You and the mother may sign a voluntarily acknowledgement of paternity, but you must do this within a certain time frame. Otherwise, you will need to go to court in order to obtain your legal rights as a father.

Family law professionals seeing increase in prenups

In many circles, millennials -- generally accepted as those born between 1980 and 2000 -- are trendsetters, as those in their age group have been for generations. However, far more than establishing the popularity of music and fashion, today's 18 to 34-year-olds are widening the acceptance of many lifestyle factors, including those concerning family law. One item that is gaining popularity among millennials in Massachusetts and beyond is the prenuptial agreement.

Today's young adults have vastly different ideas concerning marriage from past generations. Millennials are establishing their careers first, waiting longer to get married and delaying having children. They also, as a group, enter marriage with their own individual wealth, considerable student loan debt and a perception of marriage as something that is not meant to last forever.

Many arrested for drug crimes after month-long operation

In some cases, a drug-related arrest is made following a routine traffic stop or an encounter with police on an unrelated matter. Drug charges may then be added to a list of other offenses and used as part of negotiating for a plea deal. However, police may also make arrests for drug crimes based on intense investigation and evidence gathering. Law enforcement in a Massachusetts city recently completed such an operation and made hundreds of arrests.

The fourth annual Operation Full Throttle was conducted during the month of June and involved the narcotics and vice unit of the city police force. When law enforcement agencies launch such in-depth operations, they typically have a goal in mind and may even be in search of a particular individual. While many of the operation's 446 arrests were for drug possession, 152 people were charged with distribution, intent to distribute or trafficking.

First family law need? Data protection

When a Massachusetts resident is facing a divorce or child custody fight, it can be hard to know where to begin. Finding an attorney to manage the matter, speaking to friends and loved ones about the changes to come, and a multitude of practical matters all need to be addressed. One important thing to consider during a family law case is the danger of leaving one's data unprotected. 

Technology has become such an ingrained part of daily life that it's often taken for granted. People share their data with those around them, often unintentionally. For example, many Apple users link their phones, tablets and computers to make it easier to share photos, music and streaming services, and to track the location of the family's devices. 

Did the officer have a valid reason to stop you for alleged OUI?

If you are facing allegations of driving under the influence of alcohol, you're probably feeling nervous about the legal process and uncertain about how best to proceed. Being convicted of DUI -- known also as OUI in Massachusetts -- can result in serious consequences that could have a substantial impact on your future.

Simply being involved in a traffic stop is stressful enough, and you may not be eager to revisit the events that led up to your arrest. However, addressing these matters in detail could also be essential to a successful defense against the charge. For example, if the officer did not have a legally valid reason to stop you, the charge against you could be dismissed.

Massachusetts man faces OUI/DUI charges

A man in Brockton is believed to have been drunk and under the influence of drugs at the time of a fatal car accident. Massachusetts prosecutors say the man was test driving a truck at the time of the accident, which claimed the life of another man. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges of OUI/DUI and vehicular manslaughter. He was slated to appear for a dangerousness hearing on June 25.

According to Massachusetts law enforcement, the 22-year-old man was reportedly trying to test the performance of his vehicle when the June 15 accident occurred. It appears the man may have been speeding in an attempt to pass the car driven by a 54-year-old Brockton man. The younger man smashed his vehicle into the second car, killing its driver. 

Box missing from fundraiser - theft crimes or safekeeping items?

Volunteer work can be rewarding. Massachusetts residents often volunteer their time and energy in an effort to raise funds, bring about change or serve some other purpose for which they feel a desire to assist with. As a part of such service, individuals will often donate funds or items to be used for the benefit of the volunteer effort. Unfortunately, there are times when funds or items end up missing, and thoughts often turn to the possibility of theft crimes as the reason.

In one recent instance, a box intended to be used in a charity event for a fallen police officer went missing. The box contained a variety of golf balls, hats and shirts to be used as a part of the fundraiser for which the public had purchased tickets. An investigation regarding what happened to the box was begun. After reviewing a security tape of the area, officers identified a woman who apparently carried the box out of the facility. The box was found in the woman's car, and she was arrested.

Theft crimes just the beginning for this teenager

Massachusetts officials are planning criminal charges against a 15-year-old boy who allegedly stole his mother's car and led police on a high speed chase that extended through several towns. It's unclear whether theft crimes in relation to the stolen car will be part of that process, but the boy is fortunate that he emerged from the incident alive and whole. The chase ended in a horrific crash that tore his vehicle in half, and witnesses say it's a miracle he survived. 

The incident began when the boy allegedly sped past a stopped Massachusetts State Police trooper on Interstate 495 at around 2:25 a.m. When the same trooper tried to pull the driver over, the teen apparently refused to stop and began speeding. Officers stopped the chase when the car entered a residential area, but received reports of a crash nearby just moments later. The boy was found in a front yard near the scene of the crash, and the car was split into two by the impact with a utility pole.

Divorce stress can wreck your health and wellness

For Massachusetts residents preparing to bring their marriage to a close, it's important to understand the impact that such a big life change can have on health and wellness. Divorce can be stressful, and any significant change can lead to unhealthy choices, even if they aren't made on a conscious level. Avoiding health issues requires some preplanning.

According to researchers, divorced people are less active and less satisfied with their lives as compared to those who are married or single. In fact, it appears that divorce can even increase the risk of an early death for some people. It's possible to avoid these outcomes, but a degree of planning and effort is required. 

Sharing parenting time between 2 households in Massachusetts

Trying to raise kids in two households can be challenging. Parenting time is important for both parents. But Massachusetts parents who are divorced are juggling many things, including schedules, while trying to help their kids adjust to living life in two different places and figuring out what that means for them. Kids may have to adapt to different rules in each place, different parenting styles and essentially different live in different places. There can be a lot of different's for kids of divorce.

So, it's no wonder that some kids have a hard time transitioning from one household to another, but with understanding parents that can be remedied. Kids will give signs that they're experiencing difficulties. Perhaps a once outgoing child shows signs of depression or anxiety. Or perhaps a child begins to act out -- something that is unlike him or her. Children thrive on ritual; in other words, they don't like change, so when a routine is put into place when going from one home to another, it may be all that's needed to allay any discomfort a kid might have about the process.

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