When your children divorce, what is your role in your grandchildren’s lives?
It’s really quite simple, actually: It should not change.
So then, why do some grandparents find this situation uncomfortable?
Hesitation to intrude
Some grandparents hesitate to intrude.
However, let us give you some good reasons to intrude!
In a study done about divorce in California, children of divorce were given support by only 25% of their extended family, including grandparents.
In fact, In June 2000, the United States Supreme Court via Troxel v. Granville said that “as long as a parent adequately cares for his or her children, the state should not interfere with that parent’s constitutionally protected right to make decisions about his or her children’s contact with grandparents.”
However, this can become encumbered by the rights of parents to decide what is in the best interests of their children.
To that end, the courts may determine whether your grandchild would suffer “actual or potential harm” if access to you were terminated.
Unfortunately, If no such harm could be shown, no access would be ordered.
In one such case, a Vancouver judge refused to permit the grandparents of a 4-year-old child to take their grandchild to church (Kingdom Hall) or discuss religion with their grandchild.
The linked case goes on to say that there are in fact “longstanding legal principles that are used to oust grandparents from a grandchild’s life”.
Can you imagine?
Beyond the law
Yet if children lose the relationships of their extended family and their grandparents, too, it compounds and worsens their feelings of loss, confusion, and sadness.
When you can lend stability, continuity, love and support for your grandchildren, please don’t hesitate to go to bat for being with them.
And if your ex-daughter-in-law or ex-son-in-law remarries, continue your involvement with your grandchildren even there, when at all possible.
A right to see your Grandchildren
You have a moral right to your grandchildren. More than that, however, your grandchildren have a moral, if not legal, right to you!
No one can ever have too many people loving them.
Stand up for their moral rights!