It can be tough to see your child go through a divorce. They might experience a lot of emotional upheaval as they navigate the process and try to start their post-divorce life on their own, and that can be hard on you, too. While most of the legal issues that your child will face directly affect them, there may be issues that impact you as well, especially if you have grandchildren.
The outcome of your child’s divorce could negatively affect the amount of time that you get to spend with your grandchildren. This is especially true if your child’s former spouse ends up with sole physical custody of your grandchildren. But when you time with your grandchildren is restricted or completely eliminated, you shouldn’t just accept the outcome that’s befallen you. After all, you may be entitled to grandparent visitation, and it can be extremely beneficial to your grandchildren to do so.
The benefits of grandparent visitation
There are several benefits to having an active grandparent in your life. Here are just some of the benefits that your grandchildren may see if you remain a consistent part of their lives:
- Stability: Regardless of how hard their parents try to avoid it, your grandchildren are going to be affected by their parents’ divorce. This can create emotional turmoil and uncertainty, but if you’re able to remain active in their lives, then you can become a stabilizing force that they need by providing consistency and emotional support.
- Perspective: Kids sometimes struggle to navigate the world around them, especially when everything seems to be changing. As a result, when their home life is derailed, they can quickly become hopeless for the future and become riddled with stress and anxiety. You’ve gathered a lot of life experiences over the years, and as such might be able to help your grandchildren put things in perspective. Of course, you can only do that if you’re actually able to spend time with them.
- Prosocial behavior: Active grandparents have been shown to increase their grandchildren’s school engagement as well as their empathetic behaviors. These prosocial behaviors can pay short- and long-term dividends for your grandchildren.
- Overall happiness: You and your grandchildren probably enjoy spending time together. But the value of this connection is much deeper than that. Some studies have shown that contact between grandparents and grandchildren can reduce the risk of depression for both the grandparents and the grandchildren.
- New skills: Growing up, you did things differently than your grandchildren do nowadays. That means that you have a lot to teach your kids, and they’ll probably be receptive to learning from you. Not only does this help develop your grandchildren’s skills, but it can also strengthen your bond with them.
- Advice: As your grandchildren age, they’re going to need advice and guidance. While they’ll probably get a lot of that from their own parents, you might be able to provide a different point-of-view that helps them make holistic, diligent, and better thought-out decisions as they get older.
Do you want to protect your relationship with your children?
If you do, then you might need to be prepared to take legal action. This will include filing a petition for grandparent visitation and arguing why such visitation is in your grandchildren’s best interests.
It can be stressful to figure out the best way to do that, but that’s why you might find it beneficial to discuss your particular set of circumstances with an experienced legal team. By doing so, you might be able to craft the persuasive legal arguments that you need to ensure that you still get to have contact and a loving relationship with your grandkids.