As we discussed in the last post, divorce can be hard on all members of a family, even grandparents. This is especially true when grandparents feel pushed away or left out following the divorce of their children. A recent article in The Huffington Post provided some tips for grandparents who are experiencing this phenomenon.
Here is some of the advice:
- Accept that things will not be the same as they were in the past. With the divorce will come changes and clinging to "the way things were" will only make the transition more difficult.
- Talk to your son or daughter and their ex right away, explaining your wishes to remain an important part of the children's lives and your fears of being shut out. It is common now for divorce decrees to spell out grandparent visitation, so see if they are open to this.
- Give the family some time to readjust immediately following the divorce. Everyone will likely be busy trying to juggle many new things at once, so it might take a while before the family is settled in and ready to schedule longer and more frequent visits.
- Be prepared for more reshuffling if either parent gets remarried. There could be another set of grandparents brought into the picture, but if you are willing to be flexible and accept the changes, it is more likely that you will stay an important member of the group.
Divorce is a complicated process that can affect each member of a family, including a grandparent. If you are a grandparent who feels that you are being deprived a relationship with your grandchildren, it might be beneficial to talk to a family law attorney who can help you understand your legal rights.
Source: The Huffington Post, "When Grandparents Are Shut Out," Marsha Temlock, Sept. 9, 2011.