Donald G. Tye

Partner and Chair Emeritus

Practice Areas

Selected to the "Boston" magazine Top Lawyers™ list for 2023 in Divorce and Family Law

Donald G. Tye is a founding partner and has been co-chair of the Domestic Relations Practice Group at Prince Lobel Tye LLP in Boston (a multi-practice firm of 100 plus lawyers which handles matters of local, regional, national, and international reach). He has over forty-five years of experience as a trial attorney, guardian ad litem, a master, an attorney for children (including the Massachusetts Attorneys Representing Children “ARC” Program), and an arbitrator. He is also certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) as a mediator, and conciliator. He has prepared and argued numerous cases on appeal to the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court.

Mr. Tye is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He was national co-chair of national AAML’s legislation committee; during 2009 and 2010 he served on its Special Concerns for Children Committee, which was responsible for updating and revising the AAML’s National Standards for Attorneys for Children in Custody or Visitation proceedings.; In 2014 he was appointed to AAML’s Impact of Special Needs Children Committee; and in 2013, 2015, and 2017 he was appointed a member of its Continuing Legal Education Committee. He was president of the AAML Massachusetts chapter 2005 – 2007, and since then has been elected to the Board of Managers. He received the Massachusetts AAML Chapter’s “President’s Award” in 1998 and 2004. He was elected a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers in 2020.  Since 1999, he has been a member of the Family Law Curriculum Advisory Committee of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and was co-chair from 2006 through 2008. He is a member of the Family Law Section of the American, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations, and was appointed to the MBA Family Law Section Council, on which he has served since 2010. He is an Editor Emeritus on the Board of Editors of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

His work has been published in the Massachusetts Family Law Journal, the Boston Bar Journal, the ABA’s Family Advocate, Massachusetts Bar Lawyers’ Journal, Best of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Journal, the AAML Law Review, and ABA Family Law Quarterly. A frequent lecturer and panelist, he has lectured and conducted workshops and seminars in the areas of trial practice, divorce, and child-related issues at Harvard Law School; Boston College Law School; Northeastern University Law School; Suffolk University School of Law; New England Law/Boston, MCLE and its Family Law Institute; Brown University Medical Center; Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work; Boston University Graduate School of Social Work; the American Psychological Association; the Boston public schools (Partners in Education, Inc.); the Maine, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations; the ABA Family Law Section annual meetings in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2011, and in 2015 for the ABA Family Law Section Fall CLE in Portland, Oregon, and in 2021 in New Orleans; the AAML annual meeting in Chicago in 2013 and 2015; the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers; the Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem (MAGAL), and in 2017 at the AAML AFCC Conference “Advanced Issues in Child Custody: Evaluation, Litigation and Settlement” in San Diego, CA, and at the AAML annual meeting in Chicago in 2018, he co-presented on “the Intersection of Alienation and Custodial Issues”.

Active in the community, Mr. Tye has been a Board Member and a vice president of Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, the nation’s oldest continuously operating free public lecture series. From 2009 through 2014 he was a member of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission (appointed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick); and has been a member of the Civil Rights Committee of the Anti-Defamation League. In 2012 he was appointed to serve as a member of the statewide taskforce Voice of the Child by the then-chief judge of the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court Department. He was appointed to three, three-year terms as a hearing officer by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers; and is a hearing officer for the Massachusetts’ Bar Association’s Legal Fee Arbitration Board.

He has also been named as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts” as featured in Boston Magazine and as a “Top Attorney in New England” by New England Super Lawyers and by Boston Magazine. He was coeditor of the “Domestic Relations” chapter in Summary of Basic Law, a selection of the Massachusetts Practice Series (published by West Publishing Company), was editor of the “Divorce” chapter in the Massachusetts Bar Association publication, Traps for the Unwary, and in Fall 2017 his article “Preferences and Voices of Children in Massachusetts and Beyond” was published in the ABA Family Law Quarterly. The articles he co-authored, Navigation of the Culture of the Immigrant Experience in the Family Courts, was published in the in Fall 2017 Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and Immigration Bias in Family Law Practice, was published in January 2022 in the national ABA Family Advocate. The 7th edition of MCLE’s Family Law Series publication, Trying Divorce Cases in Massachusetts, is scheduled to be published in Summer, 2023. Mr. Tye is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (JD), and its Brown School of Social Work (MSW), in a joint degree program, and Tufts University (BA).

In May 2018 he received MCLE’s Annual Scholar- Mentor Award for his lifetime contributions to Family Law in Massachusetts. (Four of these awards are presented annually by the premier CLE program in Massachusetts among all fields of practice among Ma. lawyers).

Pro Bono

On the pro bono front, he continues to be appointed as Attorney for Children (court-appointed through the Attorneys Representing Children – ARC program- in multiple counties in MA.) and as Guardian Ad Litem statewide, doing clinical investigations in high conflict custody cases and as testimonial guardian to determine whether a child’s privilege should be waived so the investigative GAL can interview the child’s therapist.

Attorney Tye was re-appointed for an 9th term on the MBA’s Family Law Section Council and was selected in 2022-3 to be Legislation Committee Co- Chair.  For 2022-24 he was selected as Chair of the Education Committee of the Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem Education Committee, which organizes and presents CLEs to the mental health and legal communities statewide. He is a Lifetime Fellow of the AAML Charitable Foundation, and of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.

Continuing Legal Education

Attorney Tye was re-appointed for the 20th year as a member of the Family Law Curriculum Advisory Committee at MA Continuing Legal Education, Inc.  (This committee plans all family law continuing education courses for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.).

He has been invited to present and chair over 100 state-wide and national CLE programs. During 2021-23, these CLE programs have included,

  • On December 9, 2020, chair for MCLE: How to Improve Your Next Category E Evaluation or Category F Investigation: Court Certified Training. This was only one of two CLE programs required for re-certification of Category E and F GAL evaluations statewide.
  • February 15, 2021- panelist, MCLE: Securing & Collecting Your Fees in Family Law Practice.
  • April 6, 2021, panelist for Social Law Library CLE- Panel- “Covid-19 Part 2: “Lessons Learned in Family Law and Our Path Forward” “Business Valuation as We Come out of Covid-19”.
  • Boston Bar Association- chaired The Immigrant’s Expectation and Experience in MA Probate and Family Courts.
  • October 28, 2021- MCLE- chaired How to Try Divorce Cases in Massachusetts (32d year chairing this MCLE annual program in family law in Ma.)
  • On April 21, 2022, chair, American Bar Association, Family Law Section, Annual Conference, “What Family Lawyers Need to Know About Immigration Law” (New Orleans, LA)
  • February 12, 2021, organized the Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem (MAGAL) CLE: “What’s the Truth Got to Do with It? Assessing Questions of Truthfulness in Family Forensic Cases.
  • October 1, 2021, organized the MAGAL, Annual CLE Conference: “May I Speak Freely?- The Interplay of Therapeutic Privilege, Confidentiality, and Family Law”.
  • In February 2022, selected by the Probate Court Administrative Office for the planning committee for the Category E Evaluation or Category F Court Certified Training. This was the only CLE program required for re-certification of Category E and F GAL evaluations statewide.
  • February 11, 2022- panelist, MCLE: Domestic Relations Family Law Summit “Taxes All Around”.
  • On March 22, 2022, invited to co-teach a two-hour seminar on Alimony and Child Support to Family Law course at New England Law/Boston.
  • Boston Bar Association- chaired, The Immigrant’s Expectation and Experience in MA Probate and Family Courts.
  • On May 6, 2022, chaired, Real Life Ethics and Malpractice Risks in Domestic Relations Matters, for MCLE’s Annual Family Law Symposium, in Boston.
  • On May 20, 2022, organized as Education Chair of MAGAL, the Spring 2022 Conference for MAGAL (Ma Assoc of GALs) “Operating in the Shadow of the Law: A Compendium of Case Law for the GAL and PC”.
  • On November 10, 2022, – chaired MCLE’s Trying Divorce Cases in Massachusetts (33d year chairing this MCLE annual program in family law in Ma.) (Judge Kimberly Moses, Norfolk Probate)
  • February 10, 2023, organized as Education Chair of the Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem (MAGAL) CLE: Bungles, Biases, & Boundaries: What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

Attorney Tye organized the Family Law Joint Legislative Task Force in the Fall of 2018 to help promote important family law initiatives including the UCCJEA, the consequences of the Trump Tax Reform (TCJA) to alimony in MA; the Family Law Arbitration Act; and the Model Parentage Act. This task force has delegates from the MBA, BBA, WBA, AFCC, AAML, MAGAL, MA LGBTQ Bar, MA Law Reform Institute, and from the Admin Office of the Probate and Family Court.


Boston magazine Top Lawyers™ 2023
Boston magazine Top Lawyer 2022


  • Washington University (St. Louis), J.D., 1975; M.S.W., 1975
  • Tufts University, B.A., 1972

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

  • 2005-2007: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Certified Fellow; Massachusetts Chapter President
  • American Bar Association, Family Law, Civil Litigation Sections
  • Boston Bar Association, Family Law Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Law Review, Family Law Section Council
  • Massachusetts Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • Ford Hall Forum, Vice President and Program Committee Chair
  • Anti-Defamation League’s National Law Committee; executive committee  member of ADL’s New England Region’s Civil Rights Committee
  • Attorney Representing Children (ARC)