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Fern L.  Frolin

Fern L. Frolin Esq.

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General Biography
Practice Areas
Family Law
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Prior to joining JAMS, Fern Frolin, Esq., was a member of Mirick O’Connell’s family law group. Ms. Frolin has extensive practice area experience in family law and focused her practice on complex matrimonial law matters, including divorce, custody, child support, modification, asset division, business valuation and grandparent visitation. She has also dealt with enforcement and modification of custody and support decrees entered both nationally and internationally.

Ms. Frolin brings unique problem-solving skills to highly contentious, high-dollar-amount cases. She is a skilled attorney and a very skilled fact finder renowned for her discovery master and guardian ad litem work. She believes that couples should maintain as much control over their divisions as possible, and mediation allows them to do just that. Known for her knowledge of family law legislation, a great temperament and consensus building, she also garnered a well-earned reputation for an impressive understanding of the overall math and accounting involved in divorce proceedings. This includes the valuation and division of stock options, life insurance policies and executive compensation packages.

Ms. Frolin was the only Massachusetts lawyer to serve on both the Child Support Guidelines Task Force, which drafted the first major revision of Massachusetts' Child Support Guidelines in more than 30 years, and the Massachusetts legislature’s Alimony Reform Task Force, which wrote the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act. She also served on the Probate and Family Court Model Parenting Plan Committee, which drafted model parenting plans that appeared on the Probate and Family Court Department’s website for more than a decade. She was appointed to the court's Voice of the Child Committee and worked on standards for representation of children in high-conflict custody matters. Most recently, Ms. Frolin was appointed to serve the trial court as a member of the Child Support Guidelines Quadrennial Review Task Force.

Ms. Frolin has held leadership positions at the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and the Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem. She is a Louis D. Brandeis Life Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and still holds a leadership position in the American Academy of Matrimony Lawyers.

Fern was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Family Law, and she was first listed in 2006. She has been named a New England "Super Lawyer" and a Massachusetts "Super Lawyer” by Boston magazine and Law & Politics every year since 2007. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and she is past president and a national governor of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Lawyer Monthly, U.K. named her as its 2017 United States Lawyer of the Year for Child Custody and Child Support.

Representative Matters

  • Family Law
    • Estate and Probate Matters

      • Contested will where will conflicted with terms of postnuptial agreement
      • Determination of validity of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
      • Negotiation and mediation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
      • Contested guardianship of children

      Property Division

      • Division of startup business
      • Valuation and division of stock options, life insurance and executive compensation packages
      • Allocation of limited partnership interests
      • Business valuation of closely held corporations and partnerships
      • Valuation and division of public pensions, private pensions, and qualified and non-qualified retirement accounts
      • Cohabitation and co-ownership agreements
      • Allocation of gifted and inherited assets under equitable division principles

      Support Issues

      • Alimony and maintenance in short-term, mid-term and long-term marriages
      • Negotiation of lump-sum alimony buy-out agreements
      • Alimony and maintenance modification
      • Cohabitation dispute resolution
      • Child support
        • College expenses
        • Unallocated family support
        • Post-majority support of disabled child
        • Shared custody and shared expense agreements

      Custody Matters

      • Intra-state, interstate and international relocation of children
      • Child custody, time-sharing arrangements and parenting plans
      • Grandparent visitation
      • De facto parentage
      • Guardian ad litem investigation
      • “Nesting” arrangements

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, Family Law Section Council, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Louis D. Brandeis Life Fellow, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Fellow, Massachusetts Board of Governors, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers


  • The Best Lawyers in America, Family Law, 2006–2024
  • New England and Massachusetts Super Lawyer, Boston magazine and Law & Politics, 2007–2021
  • United States Lawyer of the Year for Child Custody and Child Support, Lawyer Monthly, U.K., 2017

Selected Publications

  • “Don’t Say That! Are Non-Disparagement Orders Lawful?” Boston Business Journal, August 17, 2020
  • “The Out-of-Court Divorce Agreement,” On Air with Mirick O’Connell (legal podcast), May 22, 2020
  • Quoted in “Non-disparagement Orders Improperly Restrained Speech,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, May 13, 2020
  • “Divorce for Beginners,” On Air with Mirick O’Connell, May 11, 2020
  • Quoted in “Spouse Not Entitled to Equal Share of Veterans’ Benefit,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, March 2020
  • Quoted in “’Divorce Loans’ Can Provide Cash Until the Settlement Comes Through,” Newsday, March 2020
  • “Marriage Story – Fact or Fiction,” blog, March 18, 2020
  • “TCJA Alimony Tax Changes: The Clock Is Ticking!” (co-author), Divorce magazine, August 29, 2018
  • Quoted in “How to Divorce Like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie,” CNBC, January 11, 2017
  • Quoted in “Ruling Gives Guidance on Alimony Extensions,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 8, 2016
  • Rosen v. Rosen, Mass. App. Ct., 15-P-848, Equitable Child Support Credit as a Defense to Contempt, November 16, 2016
  • Quoted in “Child Custody Bill Deserves Consideration,” Newburyport Daily News, March 26, 2015

Bar Memberships and Professional Activities

  • Massachusetts Bar Association, 2005–2021
  • Boston Bar Association, 1997–2004

Background and Education

  • Of Counsel, Mirick O’Connell, 2015–2021
  • Partner, Grindle Robinson, 2005–2015
  • Lecturer, Boston College School of Social Work, 2001–2010
  • Guest Instructor, Suffolk University Law School, 2008–2013
  • J.D., Boston College Law School, 1978
  • B.A., Ohio State University, 1969


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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