July 21, 2020
In our “Meet a Divorce Mediator” blog series, we interview MWI’s top divorce mediators to learn more about their work in the field and their experiences.
This week, Kajy Vicinelli tells us about her work as a licensed attorney and a divorce and family mediator with MWI in Boston.
After graduating with a JD from The University of Texas at Austin, Kajy worked as a staff attorney at Lawyers for Children in New York City. Working closely with social workers, she represented children and protected the rights of children placed into foster care through the Family Court system. Her cases included voluntary foster care placement, abuse, neglect, termination of parental rights, adoption, guardianship, custody, and visitation.
After moving to Massachusetts, Kajy changed her path slightly although still working as an advocate in the courts or in civil service. She studied mediation at the Harvard Negotiation Institute and with MWI. Since 2016, she has served as a mediator in Massachusetts District and Municipal Courts. She has mediated and co-mediated numerous cases involving divorce, family law, and a variety of consumer disputes.
We had the opportunity to ask Kajy some questions, and here is what she had to say…
What led you to become a mediator?
After working as a lawyer, I wanted a career that continued to hone in on my conflict resolution skills. Mediation interested me as a great option to resolve conflict.
How would you describe your mediation style?
I fully believe in the facilitative mediation style that MWI practices. By simply guiding participants to meet their goals, they control the process and outcome. This helps parties to arrive at a decision that is best for them. I support this process by using empathy, attentively listening, and asking participants open ended questions.
What would you say are the benefits from divorce mediation (instead of litigation)?
There are several benefits that come from divorce mediation, including cost-effectiveness and encouragement of good communication. Since mediation generally results in a more efficient process it can be much less costly than litigation. In addition, mediation cultivates good communication between the parties through listening and cooperation. It can often help parties reach an amicable split and preserve a working relationship. Having an amicable or working relationship is especially helpful with children because strong co-parenting is very important.
How would you tell people to prepare for the mediation process?
I believe it is very important to go into mediation ready to listen. By having an openness to listening, participants are better able to reach solutions and compromises.
Are you offering online mediation currently?
Yes! Due to COVID-19, mediation services are currently taking place online via Zoom.