Fern is a member of the Firm's Family Law Group. She focuses her practice on all aspects of matrimonial law. Areas of concentration include divorce, custody, child support, modification, paternity, asset division and grandparent visitation cases. Fern deals with enforcement and modification of decrees entered in other states and internationally, reciprocal child custody, and complex asset division. In addition, she is an AAML trained Arbitrator and Family Law Mediator, and a court trained Conciliator.
Fern was the only Massachusetts lawyer to serve on both the 2009 Child Support Guidelines Task Force, which drafted the first major revision of Massachusetts' Child Support Guidelines in more than 30 years, and the Massachusetts' legislatures 2012 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 now appear on the Probate and Family Court website. She was appointed to the Court's Voice of the Child Committee working on standards for representation of children in high conflict custody matters. Fern has held leadership positions at the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Mass 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.
Fern was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America ©2018 in the field of Family Law (Copyright 2018 by Woodward/White Inc., of Aiken, SC). First listed 2006. She has also been listed Super Lawyers of Massachusetts and Super Lawyers of New England. 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.
Prior to joining Mirick O'Connell, Fern was a partner at the law firm of Grindle Robinson.
Bar & Court Admissions
- Boston College Law School JD
- Ohio State University BA
Fern has lectured for Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, where she taught masters and PHD candidates the essential intersections of law and social work. She has regularly taught seminars for other lawyers at Suffolk University Law School, Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, MCLE, Inc., and the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation.
- 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 (author), November 16, 2016
- Quoted in “Child Custody Bill Deserves Consideration,” Newburyport Daily News, March 26, 2015
Professional / Community Affiliations
- Boston Bar Association
- Massachusetts Bar Association