Given the fact that grandparents play such a vital role in a child's life, in our last post we focused on why grandparents should maintain relationships with their ex-son-in-laws and ex-daughter-in-laws. This is not intended to create a rift between an adult child and their parent, but rather to strengthen the bonds and maintain visitation time with grandchildren after a divorce.
When adult children get divorced, grandparents often worry about what their role is going to be. Will they get to see their grandchildren as much? Will maintaining a relationship with an ex-son-in-law or ex-daughter-in-law seem like picking sides? How should grandparents talk to their grandchildren about the divorce?
It used to be that when two parents got divorced, one parent was granted primary custody and the other was given visitation time. For many parents this was quite frustrating, especially when the courts used to favor mothers. This meant that fathers often only got to see their children every other weekend and some holidays.
Grandparents can end up playing a rather unique role during a divorce. While the grandparents want to be there for their adult child who is going through the divorce, the same grandparents also want to continue to maintain a close relationship with their grandchildren and be there for them emotionally during this time. However, while being there is one thing -- and is encouraged -- grandparents need to make sure to not overstep their boundaries.
Every parent should be able to spend meaningful time with their child. However, in cases where the court believes the child could be in danger if left alone with either their mother or father, the court will decide to impose supervised visitation. This can be done in cases where there is concern over the child's emotional development or physical condition if left alone with their other parent.
With today's current economy and many lay-offs it is not unheard of for a father to be behind on his child support payments due to financial reasons. However, when a dad is behind on these payments -- while for the custodial parent this can surely be frustrating -- this should still never be used as a reason behind limiting visitation time between a father and his child.
When creating a child custody agreement and visitation schedule, it is quite common for parents to put in requests for certain holidays. For example, maybe the kids will be with dad for Christmas, but then with mom for Easter. Or maybe spending at least half of Chanukah with the children is a must for a father. But what happens if one parent is not particularly a religious person and therefore doesn't necessarily feel as much of an attachment to specific holidays? Can this be balanced with the other parent's religious holiday requests?