Divorce & Family
The best way forward
Burns & Levinson has one of the largest and most reputable divorce and family law practices in the country. Our attorneys are known for being compassionate advisors, zealous advocates and creative problem solvers. Our attorneys are leaders in the field who make new case-law with court successes and are often called upon to lecture on topics ranging from complex asset division, alimony reform, and child custody, to domestic abuse.
We approach each case from a position of strength and skill. Skill to negotiate and settle matters and craft intricate divorce agreements; and strength to aggressively take issues to trial when necessary. We provide practical legal guidance and strategic advice while staying focused on each particular client’s goals, circumstances and needs. Individualized attention to each client’s objectives allows us to help clients confidently traverse what is often the most tumultuous and stressful time of their lives.
Our clients benefit from our in-house colleagues with expertise in tax law, trusts and estates, asset management, real estate, pension and retirement plans and all aspects of corporate business, who provide guidance on these issues when circumstances warrant.
Our attorneys have experience in negotiating and drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, as well as litigating the enforceability of these and similar agreements concerning rights and interests in real and personal property. In addition to divorce matters, we represent clients in paternity actions, contested custody disputes, guardianship and conservatorship matters, uncontested adoptions, cases involving the removal of children from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and nearly all legal challenges facing families. Our attorneys also work with clients to obtain orders of protection from abuse and harassment, and help families who are faced with the involvement of the Department of Children and Families. In addition to representing one spouse in a family law matter, we have trained mediators who help couples amicably resolves their disputes.
- Represented a parent in a paternity case and was able to overcome the presumption that the primary caretaker should be the sole legal custodian of the children in the absence of a demonstrated ability to co-parent. Our client was awarded sole legal and physical custody after trial.
- Represented a parent in connection with post-divorce and modification matters stemming from the other parent’s total refusal to co-parent. During the pendency of the litigation, Burns & Levinson was able to demonstrate to the court-appointed guardian ad litem and, ultimately, the Court that the other parent had been engaged in a systematic effort to alienate the child from our client. After trial, the Court found the other parent in contempt and modified the parenting plan such that our client’s parenting time was increased and the Judgment provided several “carve-outs” to limit the other parent’s ability to exclude our client from the child’s life.
- Represented a retired spouse in connection with a divorce after a 30 year marriage. The other party was a successful small business owner and well-respected in the community, but was secretly engaging in dangerous personal conduct, disclosure of which could damage that party’s professional reputation and, thus, impact that party’s ability to provide financial support to our client. Burns & Levinson was able to successfully negotiate a settlement that provided our client with sufficient support and assets to preserve the standard of living while avoiding a public trial that could have impacted the other party’s professional reputation.
- Represented an unmarried parent in an action for primary physical custody of the children due to concerns about the other parent’s ongoing struggle with substance abuse. After opening arguments at trial, Burns & Levinson was able to negotiate and craft a parenting agreement that provided our client with full physical-custody and a graduated parenting plan for the other parent (initially supervised) that would enable the other parent to resolve the substance abuse issues while remaining a part of the children’s lives.
- Represented a parent who was removed from the marital home as a result the other parent obtaining a 209A restraining order. The Court awarded our client limited parenting time with the child at the start of the litigation before our involvement, after the other parent falsely accused our client of neglecting the child and abusing substances. After 7 days of trial, Burns & Levinson was successful in returning the child to our client, who was granted sole legal and physical custody.
- Represented grandparents who were awarded guardianship over their daughter’s children due to mental health issues suffered by both parents. Burns & Levinson successfully blocked the mother’s efforts to move jurisdiction of the case out of Massachusetts, where there were significant records relating to the parties’ divorce and child custody issues.