Tips for grandparents during divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Family Law on Friday, August 24, 2012

When adult children divorce, it can put their parents and their children in a difficult place. Parents never want to see their children unhappy or in pain, but often divorce puts parents in this tough spot. The children of the divorcing couple also face difficulties as their relationships with the people around them change. The grandparents of these children are in a unique place to offer comfort and aid the process — so long as they follow a few guidelines.

In an article by Doctor of Education Marie Hartwell-Walker, she gives the four most important things that a grandparent can do during their adult children’s divorce. The first seems simple, but the temptation to speak negatively or bashing the other spouse should be avoided. Though it may be the way the grandparent feels at the time, escalating the drama of the divorce can’t help anything, and will likely do more harm than good. The second is to be sympathetic — the adult children may seek the advice of their parents, but it’s hard to dispense advice when it isn’t your relationship. Try to stay as neutral as possible.

Staying in contact with the grandchildren is likely to be one of the most important factors for grandparents in a divorce. The law does not guarantee visits or legal rights on the part of the grandparents, so the relationship between the grandparents and the parents must be maintained as much as possible. In addition, the stability of the grandparents will be good for the grandchildren — and maybe good for the parents as well. The fourth tip is to be emotionally available to everyone involved and serve as a good role model of delicacy and love within the family. Divorce is challenging for all involved parties, and having a standard set can keep everyone in check.

Divorce is a difficult time in families, but grandparents can aid the whole group by maintaining their relationship with their children and their spouses, as well as their grandchildren.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Grandparenting Well When Adult Children Divorce,” Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D, Aug. 20, 2012

  • To find out more about how our firm handles cases of divorce and can help to balance family issues, visit our St. Louis mediation law page.
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