Grandchildren are some of the greatest joys that an adult can experience;
there is something so exciting about seeing your own kids raise their
own little ones and then being able to spend time with them and shower
them with presents and extra love brings such joy. Unfortunately, in the
event that your adult children get a divorce, the position the
grandparents are placed into can be quite difficult. Knowing where to step in and help,
what lines can’t be crossed, etc. can be a huge burden added to
the grandparent who just wants to love and support the kids in the difficult trial.
divorce can cause the grandparents to feel added pressure because they not only
want to care for the little ones, but they also want to be there for their
grown kids who are going through a lot in the midst of a divorce. Grandparents
may also feel the urgency to protect the little kids from their pains
of the divorce as well, whether this is keeping them from being placed
into uncomfortable situations or from hearing heated arguments between
their parents, the grandparents often will feel that burden for the little
ones who don’t fully understand what is happening. Unfortunately,
the grandparents, while they may be full of love, don’t technically
have any specific legal rights over the children in the midst of a divorce.
Once there is a divorce, the parent that is not your blood may not want
you as involved in the lives of the kids, and so how you act in the midst
of the divorce may help you keep a tighter relationship with the grandkids
in the future.
Frist, as a grandparent try to stay out of the conflict, you may be tempted
to favor sides but this may not be helpful for the children. Be there
for the kids and avoid the conflicts that will arise in the divorce. Its
tempting to want to express yourself to the spouse that is separating
your child, sit back and let them handle their divorce, be there for the
kids now. Second, try not to give your advice on the situation; as a grandparent
you want to stay involved in the kids’ lives and trying to micromanage
the divorce may present problems for you doing that in the future. Remember,
your child is an adult and while they are choosing to divorce it is their
responsibility to make the best decisions, keeping your advice to yourself
may help you stay on decent terms with the ex which will be beneficial
Third, try to keep in touch with the grandchildren during the divorce season.
It will be tempting to want to pull back because of the messiness of the
divorce, but if you have a good relationship with the kids it is important
to be there for them in this difficult season. Even if this means phone
calls and text messages, try to maintain a normal relationship with them.
There may be the possibility that the other parent will want you involved
less, if this is the case discuss your concerns for the children with
their decision and appeal to be a part of their life for the kids’ sake.
Lastly, be a good example to the entire family in this situation. Divorces
are challenging as it is, and the pressures that are added to the family
can be difficult as well. Grandparents, you have more years of experience
with life under your belt, try to lead your family to deal with the divorce
well, and continue to show love to one another and support where necessary,
Grandparents are helpful during the divorce to be more of the encouragers
in the hard times rather than the advice givers, those divorcing are adults
and encouragement may be what they need more than advice from their parents.
This is extremely helpful in the future; the family will remember the
support and comfort that came from their grandparents during the trial
rather than being a person who added to the conflict and un-comfortableness
of the situation.
While trying not to choose sides as a grandparent is beneficial for the
kids, in the event of a divorce for reasons of child abuse or any form of
domestic violence the situation will be drastically different. Even as a grandparent you
may become aware of abuse in the home and your adult child may not be
ready to take legal action, there are resources out there to help you
go about he situation in a way that is best for your child as well as
their kids. Abuse is a delicate situation so it is important to go about
it with the proper counsel. It is important to be aware that when adults
are involved in difficult situations like this, there is great fear about
leaving because they worry more harm will be done. It may take many interactions
with your adult child before they realize the gravity of the situation
and are ready to make a move.
Whatever the situation may be for the family, a divorce can be rather difficult
to go through. Whether a supporting grandparent or you are a parent seeking
to divorce, contacting an experienced divorce attorney is going to be
the first step to take. At
Hutchinson Law we have experience helping families, who are going through divorce and
other situations, contact us today for more information and