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Grandparenting isn't always grand, especially during a divorce

You love your children. You also love your grandchildren, and no matter what may currently be transpiring between your son or daughter and his or her soon-to-be former spouse, you likely want what is best for everyone. Most Georgia grandparents understand that there is little or nothing they can do regarding adult children's decisions to divorce; after all, you raised your child to be independent and make his or her own choices.

If you are in this situation, you probably asked yourself the following question: How can you help your adult child, as well as your grandchildren move toward a new, happy lifestyle?

These ideas may help

Other grandparents in similar situations have cited some of the following tips as helpful in their journeys:

  • Keep up with normal routines: You grandchildren will likely fare best if you try to maintain a sense of normalcy in your relationship even though logistics and certain details may change because of their parents' divorce. Keep up frequent visits (if that's already part of your lives) and let them know that even though life is changing in many ways, your love remains constant. 
  • Don't disregard their other parent: Your son or daughter may be getting divorced, but the former spouse will always be your grandchildren's other parent. This is reason enough to do your best to maintain an amicable relationship with him or her no matter how you feel about the former marriage or current divorce situation.
  • Do not take sides in front of grandchildren: As a good parent and grandparent, you always want to be there for your loved ones, to listen when they open up and share their feelings and emotions. However, it's best not to voice one-sided opinions or make statements that are biased toward the favor of one spouse over the other in front of grandchildren. You can encourage your child to act similarly, even if you privately commiserate with him or her.
  • Accept the fact that holidays will be different: Understand that even some of your own family traditions may have to change regarding holidays and special events. If your current customs somehow interfere with a court-ordered parenting plan regarding your adult child's divorce, you will have to be willing to cooperate and compromise, which can go a long way toward keeping the peace.

Are you trying to get custody?

Your situation may be a bit more tumultuous than merely trying to determine where you are going to spend your next Thanksgiving. If you believe your grandchildren are at risk in some way, and you feel compelled to bring it to the court's attention, you may become involved in a custody dispute. Other grandparents have done so by reaching out to experienced family law advocates for guidance.

While it's always possible to go it alone in court, it's generally ill-advised. Obtaining a satisfactory solution to a particular legal problem is almost always easier when acting alongside competent representation.

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law
506 Roswell Street SE, Suite 240
Marietta, GA 30060

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