Mediating a Divorce After a Long-Term Marriage by Don Sinkov{2:30 minutes to read} I am often pleasantly surprised when couples who have been married for 20, 30, 40 years or more are able to come to mediation to be divorced. Sometimes I wonder whether I could have done that; whether I could sit next to my soon-to-be ex-spouse and say out loud, “I want to divorce you and move on with my life. I want to live alone and not be married to you anymore.” How incredibly difficult would that be in a private setting, but here we are, saying this in front of the mediator, a stranger whom we just met.

As mediators, we do this every day. Sometimes we get hung up on the mechanics of how to divide the assets of the marriage, or how to transfer property, or the tax issues. We sometimes overlook the emotional rollercoaster our clients are experiencing. I always try to keep that in my mind, although I have to admit, sometimes I can get distracted by the intricacies of the case.

My mediation couples understand that by cooperating, this potentially very uncomfortable separation-divorce process will go more quickly and, hopefully, be less acrimonious. We will be working together to create an agreement they think is fair, so they will be more likely to adhere to the agreement terms.

We mediators have an obligation to be sensitive and understanding about how difficult it must be for our clients to show up on time and on the right day to participate in the mediation process. While some couples may experience incredible difficulty in addressing the many issues that have to be discussed, even those that don’t outwardly express their emotions may be having great internal conflicts.

Every mediation couple presents an awesome responsibility for the mediator to be emotionally sensitive and respectful of their privacy. I see every day as an opportunity to help couples move on with their lives by guiding them through the mediation process no matter how long they have been married.

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: