Fern Frolin

Fern L. Frolin, Esq.

JAMS Arbitrator, Mediator, Special Master/Referee, Neutral Evaluator

Case Manager
Angus Blake
T: 617-228-9138
F: 617-228-0222
One Beacon Street, Suite 2210, Boston, MA 02108

Fern L. Frolin is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


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

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, 2006–2021
  • 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,” marriage.com 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
  • 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

Counsel Comments

    • “I give Fern high marks. She is an excellent practitioner and a terrific lawyer. On one particular case she was appointed ad-litem for a child of my father client. She did a very, very good job and wrote a great report. She dotted all of her i’s and crossed all her t’s and I had a lot of confidence in her report. I witnessed her interactions with the child, who she built a rapport with and was very engaging. She is a skilled attorney and a very skilled fact finder. I have complete respect for her ability to evaluate a case on its merits.”

      - Chair Family Law Group
    • “Fern would be a superb choice as a mediator! I would be hard pressed to think of someone who I would have greater confidence in using. She is experienced, knowledgeable and has a great temperament. Fern is a special lawyer.”

      - Managing Partner
    • “Fern is very creative, smart and passionate about Family Law. I am always very impressed with her commitment to her conciliatory work and she has certainly earned her good reputation for ad litem work. Fern helps build consensus for important Family Law legislation as well. She has fully embraced the need to help and support all the new facets in Family Law. Fern takes import from other people and is very receptive to other options and opinions.”

      - Founding partner and co-chair of the Domestic Relations Practice Group
    • “There should be a preference to go to someone like Fern who has a great deal of experience and breadth of knowledge in Family Law. She is so knowledgeable of the new task force guidelines that she would be an asset to any settlement.”

      - Family Law Litigator
    • “I’ve known Fern for a long time and have a lot of respect for her. Fern’s understanding of the law is in penetrable. She can handle smaller cases and very large cases that involve a lot of money. She’s really good with numbers and has a solid understanding valuations. She understands all the facets of stock options which is important to me.”

      - Chair of the Domestic Relations Practice Group
    • “Massachusetts needs mediators like Fern that have extensive experience and that have done conciliation litigation their whole career which includes spending extensive time in Family Law court. She has experience in writing agreements with enforceable terms and is terrific with math as well, which helps in a high end net worth case with the division of assets.”

      - Family Law Litigator and Founding Partner
    • “If you are looking for a Family Law mediator with true specialization then Fern should be on the top of your list. Her ability to handle the financial side of a breakup is exceptional.”

      - Partner in Private Client Group




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