Gray divorces are much more common than they were just a decade ago. Couples who have remained married for most of their adult lives are currently more likely than other age groups to decide to divorce.
With a divorce later in life comes a number of complex issues that the couple must address. These include how to fairly split retirement savings and handle the marital home, which may be where you intended to live during your retirement. Many older couples considering divorce turn to mediation to resolve those issues.
Why has mediation become such a popular tool for couples considering a gray divorce?
Mediation reduces conflict
Given that your children are old enough to have left the family home and may already have families of their own, you might think that your divorce won’t be as traumatic now as it would have been when they were younger.
You may feel shocked to learn that adults often have worse responses to their parents divorcing than children or teenagers do. The more you and your ex let your emotions run the show, the more likely it is that your children will take sides and that the divorce will have a long-term impact on the relationship you and your ex have with your kids.
By working together in mediation, you can reduce the conflict between the two of you and potentially hope you maintain a peaceful relationship, thereby limiting how much stress it causes for your children.
Even in high-asset gray divorces, cost is a concern
You might think that a secondary expense in the form of a professional mediator would make mediated gray divorces more expensive than the average litigated divorce, but you would be incorrect.
If you successfully work out a settlement with your spouse in mediation, you can keep the costs for your divorce overall much lower. You will have to spend far less time in the courtroom, which is where the cost really starts to increase. When you already have to worry about retiring with less than you had expected at your disposal, reducing how much you spend on the dissolution of your marriage can benefit you both.
Exploring mediation as a solution for a complex gray divorce can help you maintain control over the process and preserve an amicable relationship with your ex.