How Do I Know When My Divorce Is Final?


Due to the many steps in the divorce process, it can be easy to find yourself confused about when exactly your divorce is finalized and legal.

In order to legally remarry in Massachusetts, your divorce must first be finalized and recognized under Massachusetts state law.  This happens once the nisi period is over.  The nisi period is the time from when the court enters your divorce judgment to when the divorce becomes final by operation of law.  An uncontested divorce is not final until 90 days from the date the judgment is entered and a contested divorce is not final until 120 days from the date of the judgment.

Once your divorce is final you can then request a divorce decree which is the court’s formal order granting a termination of your marriage.  If your divorce goes to court and the judge issues a judgment, the judgment is confirmed when the decree is signed and dated by the judge.  In Massachusetts this will not automatically be given to you, you must request a copy.  After a divorce, it is always important to keep all important paperwork and information on file.  Things like your divorce decree, conditions of a settlement agreement, or any custody agreements.  After your divorce is finalized you will be able to legally change your name, apply for a mortgage, remarry and apply for social security.

A Divorce is a legal ending to a marriage, but it is not the end of your life.  Maclachlan & Allen, LLP, led by Divorce Attorney Aaron E. Allen and his over 14 years of experience, is your best resource to assist you in filing for divorce.  If you are facing a divorce or other issue regarding a marital breakup it is important that you have sound and intelligent legal guidance.  Contact Maclachlan & Allen LLP at (978) 745-9569 today!



How to Protect Yourself in a Drunk Driving Investigation


The holiday season is coming up and that means holiday parties and celebrations. This also means an increase in police out looking for drunk drivers.

Getting charged with an OUI or DWI can be a stressful and intimidating experience whether it’s your first or fifth offense. If you find yourself in a drunk driving investigation it is important to know your rights.

When it comes to drunk driving charges knowing your rights can be the key in successfully defending yourself. When people do not know their rights, they often end up telling police more than they should in the hopes of seeming cooperative. The truth is you do not have to say a word. It is your constitutional right to remain silent – even if your Miranda rights are not read.

When dealing with a drunk driving investigation it is important to stay calm and polite. Without proper evidence, an officer will have no probable cause to make an arrest. Officers will try to get you to incriminate yourself, but by remaining calm, relaxed and polite you will help protect yourself from arrest. Respectfully provide the officer with your name and address then inform them that you will not provide any further information until your attorney is present.

It is also important to remember that you have a right to say no to a field sobriety test. By asking for your consent the officer is admitting they do not have enough evidence for a conviction. You can exercise your constitutional right and refuse a field sobriety test. The fact that you refused a test cannot be used against you in court.

The best defense when it comes to protecting yourself during a DWI/OUI investigation is to wait for a skilled experienced defense attorney to advise you on what to do. Do not talk to police until you have your attorney present. Many times, officers cut corners or make mistakes when it comes to field sobriety test. A skilled attorney can use these police errors to have evidence excluded from the trial or obtain a dismissal.

If you have been charged with an OUI/DWI it is important to remain calm and know your rights. It’s also crucial to have a strong, knowledgeable, and aggressive defense attorney on your side. The criminal attorneys at MacLachlan & Allen are OUI and DWI specialist that will protect your rights every step of the way. Contact us today if you have been charged with an OUI/ DWI.