Experiencing some conflict? Let’s work together to find lasting solutions
Welcome to Next Phase Legal LLC, a team of caring Massachusetts divorce and family law attorneys and mediators working closely with individuals and families to resolve conflict while helping our clients reach their goals.
Court-based cases frequently come with high costs, whether emotional strain on you and your children, big legal fees, and other factors such as the impact on your time and attention. In fact, aggressive litigation mainly results in staggering legal bills and hard feelings between spouses and family members.
Our belief is that those facing domestic relations and other family legal issues are most satisfied when they are able to construct a solution to their problems which is efficient, respectful, and reduces the chances of ending up in future disputes.
More and more, we find ourselves serving as a neutral dispute resolution professional, such as a mediator, conciliator, or arbitrator; working closely with parties and oftentimes their lawyers to help resolve a wide-range of family law issues, whether a divorce with significant assets or decisions regarding caring for an aging parent. Other times, you may require legal representation for a child support or custody case, or assistance navigating the probate process following the loss of a loved one, or a will drafted for your growing family.
We invite you to contact us to learn more about how we can assist you.
Do you have a conflict you just can’t solve?
The Mediation Roadshow is a good option if you have conflict with another person or organization and the issue or issues are relatively contained.
Is ADR the right way to go for your family law case?
ADR can help you to settle your dispute without engaging in a long, costly court battle.
Predictability, cost control, and creativity
Our experience has shown that the predictability, cost control, and creativity that comes with mediation of conflicts offers our clients an opportunity to fashion satisfying, and often lasting, solutions to even the most difficult problems. Our dispute resolution services tend to limit financial hardships which result from being engaged in a dispute and avoids the unpredictability of having disputes decided by a judge.
If mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, including the collaborative divorce process, are not the best options for your situation, our experienced attorneys stand ready to represent your interests and work with you to reach your goals through the court system.
I highly recommend Stephen McDonough. I worked with Stephen McDonough for my divorce mediation and was completely satisfied. He clearly explained the process from start to finish, but kept it from feeling overwhelming by focusing on one step at a time. He was always professional, but at the same time his sense of humor and easy manner kept the atmosphere as light and comfortable as possible considering the circumstances. Phone calls and emails were always returned promptly, and questions and concerns addressed clearly and patiently. I would not hesitate to return to this office for any future legal needs.
Divorce Mediation Reviews
Stephen McDonough is very knowledgeable in the collaborative divorce process. My divorce moved along swiftly with his guidance. Entering into a divorce can be overwhelming but I was fortunate enough to find Stephen McDonough through the internet. He was easy to work with and has a great sense of humor, which helped during this period of my life. He was very knowledgeable about the collaborative process and both myself and my ex-spouse would recommend him.
Tiffany, Collaborative Divorce
Steve gets right to the point. He kept me focused on what was important in my case. My ex was very volatile and uncooperative. Steve handled every situation that came up in a professional manner.
Steve made a difficult, emotional process easier to get through. Steve or someone from his staff would respond to my requests in a timely manner. Although he had warned me that this process can take a long time, he was able to work quickly to settle my case with my best interests in mind. He has a great ability to recognize and diffuse conflicts before they escalate, a valuable skill in divorce proceedings.
Liz, Bristol County
Best part of my divorce! I found Steve by just looking online for alternatives to divorce litigation. My initial meeting with Steve was very informative and put me at ease. My ex is a tough person to please-hence the divorce, but Steve was able to make him feel comfortable, which is a tall task. We both enjoyed the process with Steve. I believe his previous career enables him to react to people under stress in a very calming, appropriate manner. He has a fantastic sense of humor, but I suppose that’s subjective. When we went to court, the judge was quite impressed with our agreement – saying nothing was left uncovered/unaddressed. Steve was a perfect fit for my ex and I and our divorce.
Divorce is an unfortunate and difficult process. I have heard horror stories of huge expense and bitter conflicts. Steve was immensely helpful on the process, on what to expect and how to manage productively through the process. His guidance helped us build a very good agreement, even applauded by the court judge. He is an intelligent and understanding person, aware of the emotional toll and conscious of the typical challenges that face a couple throughout. Steve has an exceptional knowledge of the law and particularly of the collaborative process. I would highly recommend Steve for any of his services, especially for collaborative divorce.
From the moment I spoke to Steve I felt confident that I was getting the best representation I could. He immediately made me understand what was going on and what he was going to do on my behalf. He understood that we were dealing with not only a financial issue but an emotional one as well because we were talking about matters concerning support of my daughter. Steve was not only professional, but reassuring. From the very beginning, he was confident about my case and was able to instill some of that confidence in me. After our court date, not only was there no reduction but he was ordered to pay more per week due to Steve’s arguments on my behalf! Not only will I never go back to court without him on my side, I would recommend his services to anyone needing legal assistance regarding divorce, separation or child support issues.
The obvious emotional stress of going through a divorce is certainly enough for anyone to cope with. Working with Stephen made this difficult time a little easier with his knowledge and communication during our mediation process. He was able to help us reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and I would recommend Stephen to anyone and welcome any inquiries regarding the process from my own experience.
Great mediator! Steve was the third attorney/mediator we met with when searching for assistance with our divorce. He was very professional, fair, and thorough. His sense of humor and levity helped put us at ease. When we went to court, the judge commented that our divorce agreement was a very well-drafted document.
Going through a divorce isn’t easy but Stephen helped ease the stress through mediating the process. He explained the process, advised on what to expect, and helped make it less stressful. Stephen is very knowledgeable and knows what to anticipate in divorce court. This helped us to reach a fair and reasonable agreement with the least amount of pain. No grief and aggravation of lawyers battling and the fees going up and up. If you are reasonable adults and appreciate a true professional, working with Stephen is the way to go.
I highly recommend Steve for mediation services. Steve did a great job guiding us through the mediation process and keeping both parties focused on the important issues
Steve was very professional and thorough and was able to help us reach a mutual agreement, he was a very good fit for my ex-husband and for me too and I would highly recommend him.
I went into our first meeting not knowing what to expect and right away Steve made me feel at ease and comfortable. He did an excellent job of explaining the entire process and brought up many things that I had not yet thought about. I left our first meeting feeling that we (my ex-wife and I) made the correct choice in hiring Steve.
I had a very good experience with Stephen McDonough. He was personable and put me at ease right away. He seemed very experienced and knowledgeable and was able to answer most, if not all of my questions. He was very patient with my husband and me, as we hit quite a few bumps along the way. Cost wise, the mediation process was much less expensive than a contested divorce. I think my husband and I were both satisfied with the process and the final agreement. I would highly recommend Stephen and his staff and the mediation process as well.
A divorce is never pretty or fun but attorney Stephen McDonough helped make the process less confusing and as painless as possible. I worked with Steve as my attorney while involved in divorce mediation in Worcester County. Steve was extremely helpful by answering all of my questions and coaching me between the mediation sessions. His knowledge of the financial issues and ideas on bargaining helped me negotiate a fair settlement – for me and my children. Since Steve is also an experienced mediator, he did not try and upset the mediation process, but was supportive and understanding. Steve was always quick to respond to my emails or telephone calls and was very accommodating around my busy schedule. I highly recommend him.
Get smart…read our blawg
Make an appointment online
We offer several initial consultation options. Please select from the available options that you will see after you click the blue “Book An Appointment” button.