Our Family Law Services
Are you thinking “maybe things will get better?”
Deep inside you probably know that things will not get better. In reality, you know your situation will, at best, remain the same but likely worsen. Stress and frustration levels rise, conflict becomes the norm or people just avoid each other. Parents hope their kids don’t notice anything, but of course, most of them are highly attuned to family dynamics.
We understand the emotions you are experiencing and how things feel overwhelming when you face so many unknowns. We are laser-focused on resolving divorce and other family law matters with a modern and sensible approach. We don’t think it makes sense for most people to pay lawyers a hefty retainer followed by seemingly endless additional bills. Legal fees can quickly grow into tens of thousands of dollars and even into six figures in some instances. While this is good for law firms, it is not typically what is necessary or good for most families.
In contrast, we help our clients resolve their divorce and family law cases through alternatives such as mediation, collaborative divorce, and skilled negotiations. We provide flexible fee options, including fixed fees for much of our work because we think it is better when you know how much something will cost.
Sometimes, mediation or other less-adversarial approaches are not possible. When that happens, we represent a limited number of clients who require assistance in court, while continuing to identify favorable settlement options. We have close relationships with highly skilled litigators if your case is one of the few that requires a trial. However, we resolve nearly 100 % of our mediation cases and less than 5% of all divorces in Massachusetts end in a trial.
The next step is up to you. Whether you want to learn more about our divorce mediation services, explore the collaborative divorce process, or discover ways to reduce the stress between yourself and your child’s other parent, we invite you to contact us to schedule an initial meeting. For your convenience, telephone or video consultations are available, in addition to in-person meetings with appropriate safeguards in place during everyone’s least favorite virus. We look forward to connecting soon and helping you start your next phase.
Stephen McDonough, Esq.
Attorney and Mediator Stephen McDonough is the founder of Next Phase Legal and works closely with clients facing divorce and other family conflict.
Stephen McDonough and the Next Phase Legal team were professional, kind, and patient through the hardest time in my life. It’s such a relief to have someone Stephen who is so knowledgeable and understands the complexity of mediation and divorce. I can’t thank him and his team enough for going above and beyond to make this difficult situation go as smooth as possible.
Stephen McDonough at Next Phase Legal is both knowledgeable and personable in his divorce mediation service. Going into this complicated, unknown legal phase of ending a marriage was definitely made smoother by Steve and his staff. Aside from coordinating the complicated paperwork involving personal and financial information, Steve was consistently comfortable to work with. We asked many questions (sometimes repeating the same ones in different sessions), but Steve was always accommodating in his answers.
Next Phase helped me through a hard time with knowledge, sensitivity and genuine kindness. I know they went above and beyond for my family, and they never made me feel I was an inconvenience. They were patient with my (numerous) questions and thoughtful about their methods. When mediation was tense Steve diffused the tension and kept us on track. Communication was great. Phone calls always returned and emails always answered. The client portal made emailing, making payments and reviewing documents simple. What else can I say? If you are considering hiring them, you should.
They were both very knowledgeable about family law and how to handle different situations that came up with my ex husband. They gave me great advice and they were always available and responsive. I felt someone they really cared about and not just a client. It has been three months since my divorce and they continue to check up on me. I really appreciate all they have done!!
I feel so lucky to have found Stephen for divorce mediation services. He was unbelievably professional but also kind and sensitive during such a difficult period in anyone's life. I can not recommend him highly enough and would not hesitate to use his services again in the future if ever necessary. Stephen provided helpful suggestions and insights, above and beyond mediator services, that turned out to be very valuable. Initially he was the only individual who gave his condolences when I was trying to evaluate and choose a mediator. That initial kindness was a great indicator of his character. Very kind, knowledgeable and fair to both parties involved. Thanks so much for all of your help guiding us in such a difficult time.
Steve McDonough and Next Phase Legal were a tremendous help as I went through the process of divorce. In choosing to do Mediation, there needs to be a high degree of trust that your attorney will provide honest and fair advice to both parties. Steve created a very open, trusting environment. My ex-husband and I both went into the meetings with high stress levels, but Steve was able to diffuse the tension and help us work toward a common goal at each session. The mediation process went quickly and we were able to cover all areas within six sessions. The Next Phase team prepared all of our paperwork, making it simple to file with the court. Overall, Steve helped make the painful process of divorce go smoothly and as pain-free as possible.
Going to a lawyer for anything is not easy. There is apprehension about what is to come and the fear of the unknown. Steve's approach calmed things down, he was very easy to talk to, and by the end of our first meeting we had all the information in a logical order, we had a game plan to get us to a conclusion, and we had a tentative time table to make it all happen. Making an appointment with Next Phase Legal and meeting Steve is one of the best things I did in a difficult time.
Attorney McDonough was a consummate professional during our conciliation. He gave us two full days to settle what was a very difficult and complex matter, one that was absolutely going to trial and managed to guide both counsel and their clients to a full settlement. His demeanor and knowledge of the law, our Judge and his ability to be empathetic and balanced to both clients was the turning point of this case. I would highly recommend Attorney McDonough for any matter which requires his level of professionalism in a mediation, conciliation or divorce.
I feel so lucky to have found Stephen for divorce mediation services (lucky we did not have to turn to lawyer services). He was unbelievably professional but also kind and sensitive during such a difficult period in anyone's life. I can not recommend him highly enough and would not hesitate to use his services again in the future if ever necessary. Our case was sensitive and difficult. Stephen provided helpful suggestions and insights, above and beyond mediator services, that turned out to be very valuable. Initially he was the only individual who gave his condolences when I was trying to evaluate and choose a mediator. That initial kindness was a great indicator of his character. Very kind, knowledgeable and fair to both parties involved. Thanks so much for all of your help guiding us in such a difficult time.