CNDR Holds Virtual Cross-Border Family Mediation Training

From June 21-29, 2021, the UC Hastings Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (CNDR) virtually hosted this advanced training for the second time. The training focused on helping family mediators to spot potential issues that require additional discussion and consideration between the parents, giving the mediator a more sophisticated understanding of how to approach these complex multi-jurisdictional situations, and covered the legal and practical aspects of international custody, child relocation, and child abduction that may arise when a family’s background includes more than one jurisdiction.

Taught by Melissa Kucinski, this sold-out program was open to family mediators and legal professionals who want to advance their mediation skills to work more productively with families where cross-border parenting issues arise. A group of government and private practice professionals from around the globe attended from the U.S., Canada, France, the Netherlands, and Brazil.

It was a lively, interactive training, with the diverse group of participants bringing in a wonderful depth of experience to enhance discussions. At the end, everyone agreed to create a practice group to stay in touch and keep expanding their knowledge!

About the trainer: Melissa Kucinski

April's HeadshotMs. Melissa Kucinski is the owner of MK Family Law, PLLC based in Washington, D.C. As part of her law practice, she mediates complex cases that span multiple states and countries. In 2013, Ms. Kucinski consulted for The Hague Conference on Private International Law. She has authored over a dozen publications, many with a focus on cross-border family mediation, and recently authored a chapter in an upcoming treatise on the Hague Conference on Private International Law‘s work in international family mediation. She has presented at nearly 50 national and international conferences on cross-border family cases.

Ms. Kucinski chaired a Steering Committee for International Social Service in Geneva, Switzerland, and was designated as a Legal and Mediation Expert to an international delegation to The Hague Conference’s 7th Special Commission meeting on the Practical Operation of the 1980 and 1996 Hague Conventions in 2017. She sat as an advisor on several past delegations for the U.S. government, including for The Hague Conference’s 6th Special Commission meeting in 2011, and a delegation that traveled to Tokyo in 2014 to discuss the bilateral operation of The Hague Child Abduction Convention with Japan’s Foreign Ministry. While in Tokyo, Melissa conducted a 2-day mediation training for Japanese family mediators. She co-designed a 40-hour international family mediation training offered by the American Bar Association in 2013 and 2015 and has offered advanced training for the Center for ADR and UC Hastings College of Law. Ms. Kucinski, a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and active on its Dispute Resolution Committee, is a panel mediator for 5 separate state and federal courts in 3 different jurisdictions in the United States. In 2019, she was a guest of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be the plenary speaker at a symposium in Tokyo celebrating the 5-year anniversary of Japan’s ratification of the Hague Child Abduction Convention. She spoke on the promise of mediation in child abduction cases.