Boston Family Law Attorney & Divorce Mediator
Attorney Jonathan Fields has more than 25 years experience representing clients with a high level of personal care and professionalism. His approach to the complex area of family law is innovative, compassionate and geared to the best interests of his clients.
He has successfully litigated complex family law cases throughout his career involving matters such as inheritances, closely-held businesses, trusts, hedge funds, private equity firms, startup companies, venture capital firms, 401-k plans, 403-b plans, defined benefit plans, cash balance plans, deferred compensation, 457 plans, stock options, restricted stock units, excess benefit plans, employee stock purchase plans, parenting plans, mental health issues, addiction issues, special needs children, and international child custody disputes.
Mr. Fields believes that while the law is always critical in a family law case, his experience has taught him that most of the time it is the psychodynamics of the parties and counsel that determine whether and how a case settles. That is why process is so critical to resolution — and why choosing the right “container” is vital. Put another way: “getting there” is important but the way you get there is just as important. Mediation may work for some clients. Collaborative Law may work for others. Sometimes, a more traditional representation or litigation is appropriate. Often, there may be a creative combination of processes that will suit a certain dynamic.
Mr. Fields recently completed a two year term as president of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM). Mr. Fields is also on the board of the Massachusetts chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), where he sits on the Conference Committee, helping to organize the Annual Conference every Spring.
Mr. Fields has significant experience as a neutral. He has successfully mediated many family law disputes between couples. Additionally, as a panel member who serves on the Fee Arbitration Board of the Massachusetts Bar Association, he arbitrates fee disputes between attorneys and clients. Mr. Fields has been appointed as a member of the Hearing Committee of the Board of Bar Overseers of the Supreme Judicial Court. Judges also frequently appoint Mr. Fields as a conciliator — to assist litigants and their attorneys in resolving cases that are headed for contested trials. Mr. Fields has been trained as a divorce arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
He has been a panelist for the Divorce Center where he has spoken about certain aspects of divorce law such as property division, alimony and custody and has spoken to numerous other groups on various divorce-related issues.
In addition, he was an Institute Faculty Member and featured speaker at a recent statewide conference of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. There, he spoke on the subject of “Prenuptial Agreements: Prohibited Subjects, Enforceability and Mediation” along with partner Sheryl Dennis. At that Conference, he also presented a new paper, “A Brief History of the Enforcement of Prenuptial Agreements in Massachusetts.”
Attorney Fields is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). The AAML, according to its website, is “comprised of the top 1,600 matrimonial attorneys throughout the nation.” The AAML website notes that Fellows “are generally recognized by judges and attorneys as preeminent family law practitioners with a high level of knowledge, skill, and integrity.” Mr. Fields is one of only 49 Fellows in Massachusetts.
Attorney Fields was recently honored by the prestigious Journal of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers for his “exceptional” article about prenuptial agreements: “Forbidden Provisions in Prenuptial Agreements: Legal and Practical Considerations for the Matrimonial Lawyer,” Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Since 2008, Mr. Fields has written a well-regarded regular column for the Family Law Quarterly about recent developments in Massachusetts family law as it affects the practice of divorce mediation.
Mr. Fields was the director of labor relations for a large New York City municipal agency. His legal expertise has also been employed as a script consultant for a major television network program dealing with family law issues.
Mr. Fields recently completed his sixth and final year of service as a Hearing Committee Member of the Board of Bar Overseers of the Supreme Judicial Court. He is a Member of the Fee Arbitration Board Panel of the Massachusetts Bar Association, an Executive Board Member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, a Member of the Collaborative Law Council, and a Panel Member of the Children and Family Law Trial Committee for Public Counsel Services.
Massachusetts Trial Court Child Support Guidelines Taskforce Committee
Education Committee, Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council — he co-chairs the Introductory Training for New Collaborative Practitioners to be held in September.
Conference Committee, Massachusetts AFCC — he assists in organizing the AFCC Annual Conference held every April.
Nominating Committee, Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
MCLC – MCFM Joint Committee
Jon is a member of the Greater Boston Family Law Inn of Court. It is a group of like-minded attorneys who are eager to elevate the practice of Family Law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through peer guidance and civility.
Mr. Fields was recently honored as a Certified Mediator by the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. Certification, according to MCFM, “is reserved for MCFM members with significant mediation experience, advanced training, and education” and is a distinction held by fewer than 10% of the membership.
Experience as a Neutral
Family Law Mediator — he has successfully mediated many cases over his career
Hearing Committee Member, Board of Bar Overseers — he has acted as a hearing officer in disciplinary actions against attorneys
Fee Arbitration Panel, Massachusetts Bar Association — he has arbitrated many fee disputes between attorneys and clients
Family Law Conciliator — he has successfully settled many cases as a court-appointed conciliator
Divorce Arbitration — he has received the highly regarded training in divorce arbitration by AAML
Marital Mediation — he has completed the “Mediation to Stay Married” training
Certified Parenting Coordinator — Mr. Fields has been certified by the National Parent Coordinator Association.
Recent Speaking Engagements
Grey Divorce: Tips for the Matrimonial Practitioner (Utah Chapter, AAML – upcoming)
Inheritance, Trusts & Divorce, Chair of Faculty, MCLE
“Gray Divorce: Representing the Elderly Divorce Client”, Panelist, MassBar Association
“I’m OK, You’re a X$!#@&%!!!: High-Conflict Behavior in Family Law Cases,” Panelist, Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem
Family Law Update / Role of Law in Mediation, MCFM Fall Institute
Mr. Fields, as President of MCFM, was the plenary session speaker. The topic blended an update of the law with a discussion about the role that the law plays in mediation.
Mr. Fields presented a talk on Alimony and Child Support at the Annual MCLC meeting in Wellesley, MA on March 13, 2014. The comprehensive presentation was titled “Massachusetts Child Support and Alimony Guidelines: How Are the Courts Dealing With the New Guidelines?”
Grey Divorce: Tips for the Matrimonial Practitioner, 29 J. Am. Acad. Matrim. Law. 57
Inheritance, Trusts & Divorce, MCLE
Revoking the Irrevocable Trust in a Divorce or Never say Can’t, Say Decant
More Questions than Answers After Bott, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
The Psychodynamics of Mediation: Overcoming Ego to Resolve Conflict, Family Mediation Quarterly
Family Law Case Updates, Family Mediation Quarterly, regular contributor
Mediating Prenuptial Agreements in Massachusetts and the Problem of the 23C Disqualification, Family Mediation Quarterly
Forbidden Provisions in Prenuptial Agreements: Legal and Practical Considerations for the Matrimonial Lawyer, Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Honored by AAML as “exceptional”)
Family Law Year in Review, Family Mediation Quarterly
A Brief History of the Enforcement of Prenuptial Agreements in Massachusetts, submitted at MCFM Fall Conference
Prohibited Subject Matter in Prenuptial Agreements, Family Law Update
Family Team Decision Making, Family Mediation Quarterly (co-author with Hugh F. Ferguson, Ph.D., Esq.)
Mr. Fields received a J.D. from Boston University School of Law (1990) and holds a B.A., cum laude, from Amherst College (1986).
Contact Attorney Jonathan Fields for a confidential consultation.