There is no reason that two people who have been married for decades, have raised a family together, and know pretty much all there is to know about each other should have to go their separate ways in a knock-down, drag-out legal battle. If they want to end their marriage, there are resources available to help them avoid confrontation. If you’re older and wish to file for divorce, you might want to consider mediation as an alternative option.
The American Psychological Association has stated that mediation can be the basis for a healthy divorce. It occurs in a private setting where both spouses are free to speak their minds if they do so in a non-confrontational manner. This is typically a lot less stressful than airing your differences in a public courtroom setting. The APA says research shows that children whose parents use mediation to divorce have an easier time adapting to their life changes.
A neutral party helps facilitate mediation discussions
If you are an older couple, you might say that you have a “lot of water under the bridge” in your marriage. Through the years, you no doubt encountered numerous challenges in your relationship. It’s okay to disagree. However, if you want to keep stress to a minimum as you finalize your divorce, mediation can be beneficial. During sessions, you can invite a neutral third party to be present.
His or her job is to get you back on track if discussions veer off the path and start heading toward an argument. The mediator does not make decisions for you, as an arbitrator or judge would. Mediation is non-binding, as well, which means that, if you believe it’s not working, you cannot be forced to continue.
Older spouses have issues that don’t affect younger spouses
As a couple filing for divorce after many years, you might have acquired many assets. Financial issues will likely be a central focus of your mediation sessions. You likely have grown children who are on their own, so you won’t have the typical child custody issues to resolve that a younger couple might.
You can convert a mediated divorce to litigation when necessary
What if you’ve been meeting in a private setting in Pennsylvania to mediate your divorce, and you think it’s not working? Another benefit to the mediation process is that you can end it at any time. You can convert this type of alternative dispute resolution to a litigated case.