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Bill Phelan

Bill Phelan has 30 years of experience helping clients with their most critical legal problems, with a special focus on handling contentious divorces. Bill is a zealous and effective advocate with a reputation for adhering to the highest ethical standards. A creative problem solver, clients trust Bill to get excellent results in a timely manner. He is a formidable adversary in court, but knows when to fight and when to negotiate.


Bill previously served as a three-term mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts, a city with a population of 91,000 and a $300 million budget. As mayor, he was a reformer with integrity who demonstrated a deep commitment to the common good, solving complex and often long-neglected problems while balancing a budget and without raising taxes.

Contentious divorce cases


Bill has developed special expertise helping clients through the difficult and often emotionally fraught issues surrounding contentious divorces. He helps clients focus on the overarching goal of divorce: to formally end a marriage with a fair distribution of assets and a custody agreement that serves the best interests of the minor children. The process of ending a marriage can be easily sidetracked by small skirmishes. Minor disagreements that have accumulated over time can prevent parties from ending their marriage after the relationship is over. Bill helps his clients stay on a steady course to achieve the most important goal -- finalizing the divorce.

Bill's substantial experience appearing before the probate court means he knows how each judge runs their courtroom. A judge's expectations for the manner in which a case is presented can impact the outcome of the case. Knowing how to present a case in each courtroom saves time, effort and money.


To prepare divorce cases, Bill works with a team of trusted outside experts including private investigators, appraisers and accountants. He has productive working relationships with guardians ad litem and can help clients understand and comply with guardian ad litem requirements.


Divorce case examples

  • Negotiated a successful separation agreement that granted a husband sole physical and legal custody of his minor children, with a provision for his wife to pay child support and relinquish her interest in the marital home. The client hired Bill Phelan to defend him after his wife sought a restraining order against him, and after she had asked the court to grant her sole custody of the children.

  • Won an order granting a husband visitation with his minor children. The husband hired Bill Phelan after his wife filed unsupported allegations against him with the Department of Children & Families and asked for a restraining order. Established that there was no evidence to support the allegations. The request for a restraining order was denied.

  • Obtained a positive divorce settlement for a wife, including a restraining order against her husband and an agreement to transfer his ownership interest in their business and a share of his other financial assets, along with custody of their children. The client hired Bill Phelan after her husband made unsupported allegations against her, claiming mental health issues. Those claims were defeated in court.

  • Obtained a successful divorce settlement for a wife that granted her sole custody of the children and half of the proceeds from the sale of the marital home. The client hired Bill Phelan after her husband offered her a small cash settlement to resolve their divorce.

  • Successfully represented a husband facing unsupported allegations of physical abuse after he asked his wife for a divorce following 30 yeas of marriage. The client hired Bill Phelan after the wife filed for a restraining order against him. The allegations were defeated in an evidentiary hearing.

  • Won a court order granting a wife sole custody of the children, with court ordered conditions on the husband's visitation, along with a restraining order against the husband and an order that he vacate the marital home  The client hired Bill Phelan after the husband broke into the wife's car and home.

Bar admissions

Admitted to the bar in Massachusetts


Suffolk University Law School, JD, cum laude

American Juris Prudence Award Contract Law

Suffolk University, BA

Criminal Justice/Safety studies

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(617) 479-2222

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