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New MA 2017 Child Support Guidelines

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Sep 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

New child support guidelines go into effect in Massachusets on September 15, 2017.   The new guidelines make some important changes, including how medical and childcare expenses are considered, and provide additional clarity (maybe) regarding child support and paying for college tuition and ex...

Mansfield MA Divorce Mediator

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Aug 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

Next Phase Legal LLC is pleased to announce that we have established a second meeting location in Mansfield, MA.  Mansfield is located in Bristol County, and is bordered by the towns of Sharon, Foxborough, Easton, Norton, and Plainville. Our Mansfield location, located at 20 Cabot Boulevard, Sui...

NPL News: McDonough Speaks at Mass Bar Conference

Posted by Stephen McDonough | May 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Massachusetts Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section hosted their first Dispute Resolution Symposium at UMASS Boston on Friday, May 19, 2017. Titled Conflict Resolution: Advancements, Strategies, and Trends, the symposium featured keynote speaker NYPD detective, hostage negotiator, and cr...

A Divorce from Social Media: Avoid Creating a Messy Trail

Posted by Unknown | Apr 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Have you ever stopped to think how child custody, support, or property division could be affected by social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and various dating websites? Make no mistake – anything you post, tweet, or “snap” can and most likely will be used against you i...

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Massachusetts

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Oct 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

If you get divorced in Massachusetts, there are different types of divorces that are available to you, with each following a different path as it goes through the courts. Some are quicker, simpler, and less expensive than others. It depends on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested and ...

Conciliation: What is the Advantage?

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Sep 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

The conciliation process can be an invaluable tool to reduce intractable conflict in cases where obstacles prevent out of court settlements and cost-effective resolutions. An experienced conciliator can serve as a conflict surgeon and help foster productive communications, curtail unreasonable b...

Fighting Over Fido: Custody of Pets in a Divorce

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Sep 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

When you think of custody battles between divorcing spouses, you might assume their fight is over the children. However, in some  situations, the disagreement between two separating people is not about a human child, but instead a fur baby. That's right, their pets. Just as parents fight for tim...

Is Adultery in Massachusetts Really a Crime?

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Sep 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

In more than 20 US states, including Massachusetts, adultery is a crime. It may seem archaic, but these are still active laws on the books. In Massachusetts, adultery is considered a crime “against chastity, morality, decency, and good order.” The Massachusetts Adultery Law Under Massachusetts ...

Is Limited Assistance Representation Right for You?

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Aug 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

When it comes to legal help, not everyone wants the same amount of assistance. You may have the time and talent to do a lot of the work yourself, which of course could save some money in the short-term. It may also provide you with a new perspective on your case and better insight into the justic...

Surviving the End of Summer in Massachusetts

Posted by Unknown | Aug 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love my son.  I love spending time with him—bike riding, arts and crafting, reading, throwing a baseball…you get the idea. But as a single mother working full time, summer stinks. For the time of year that is supposed to be low-key and schedule-free, summer causes more...

3 Challenges to Wills in Massachusetts

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Jun 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

Challenging a will is meant to be a serious and in depth process, because when a person signs a will, they mean it to stand as the last instructions for the distribution of their assets. Contesting a will is done in the Probate Courts of Massachusetts, and the challenges will fall into three majo...

Are Massachusetts Divorce Records Public?

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Jun 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

After a divorce, you may not want the whole world to know about it. So are your divorce records public? The majority of records in Massachusetts are considered public, unless they can be held under specifically stated exemptions. These exemptions are created by the legislature, and in such cases...

7 Crazy Prenup Agreements

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Jun 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Prenuptial agreements can be a source of contention between a couple before they tie the knot. In the event the couple splits up, who gets the house? The money? The gardener? Yes, as prenuptial agreements become more common, more and more eccentric assets and clauses are being added. Let's take ...

Elder and Adult Family Mediation

Posted by Stephen McDonough | May 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

When it comes to families and mediation, you may first think of divorce mediation. Mediation is used to resolve a wide variety of conflict however, and one particular area continues to grow alongside our elderly population. Certainly it would be nice if family members always agreed on important ...

Unmarried Parents & Establishing Paternity

Posted by Stephen McDonough | May 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

Dear Jon Snow: No judgment here. There are plenty of “Snow” children in our current age. (For those of you who don't watch “Game of Thrones”, characters born out of wedlock in the show have the surname “Snow” instead of a parent's last name. Also, check out HBO and thank me later). Parenthood al...

Siblings & Elder Mediation

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Aug 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

As our family members age, conflict between siblings is no longer based upon who gets to decide what to watch on TV or who gets to sit in the front seat.  A myriad of issues may surface requiring a consensus among other adult family members.  Oftentimes, these challenges can lead to conflict amon...

Online Divorce Mediation Without Pants

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Jul 09, 2015 | 0 Comments

Are you feeling constricted?  Maybe you have not found the right fit for your divorce or other mediation? Yes, the rumors are true. You can resolve your Massachusetts divorce, family, or business matter without leaving your own home or office. You could even wear your pajamas I suppose.   Despit...

The Fields of Opportunity – Divorce Mediation

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Jun 01, 2015 | 0 Comments

Many potential clients I meet with have read about divorce mediation and focus on the more obvious benefits of the process when compared to a court-based case.   The “low hanging fruit” includes the lower cost of divorce mediation and the potential for a quicker resolution. A recent mediation ses...

Divorce Financials – Employee Benefits

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Apr 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

During your Massachusetts divorce (or a post-divorce issue such as a child-support modification), it makes sense to understand your employee benefits, and those of your spouse or former spouse.  Interestingly, we find that some people are unfamiliar with their employee benefits, whether it is the...

Certified Divorce Mediator

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Mar 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

Stephen McDonough Attains Certified Divorce Mediator Status through the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation Press Release: March 20, 2015 | Medfield, MA Stephen McDonough, founder of Next Phase Legal LLC, recently achieved status as a Certified Divorce Mediator through the Massachusetts C...

Returning To Work During Divorce

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Feb 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

An issue that comes up frequently involves a client that has been out of the workforce, but is feeling some pressure – either internal, from another person, or both – to go back to work.  If a divorce is looming, or even in-process or finished, and you find yourself in this situation, should you ...

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