Divorce is an overwhelming experience for all involved. The parties who are getting divorced are often emotionally volatile. The children navigating a divorce are often frightened and unsure of what their futures hold. Even you, the parent of the divorcees, are often unsure about how to support both your children and your grandchildren.
It is with this confusion and uncertainty in mind that we have put together a list of five tips for grandparents during a child’s divorce. These are designed to make the process easier for you and to help you be a source of strength for both your children and grandchildren.
Read on to learn the top five tips for grandparents during a child’s divorce.
Make Your Grandkids the Top Priority
This tip goes without saying, but it is your grandchildren who likely need your support the most. Your child getting divorced is going through a tremendously painful process, but your grandchildren are going through that process tenfold.
Making your grandkids the top priority can take many different forms. Some of these are large – outings to the zoo or museums, sleepovers, weekend trips, and more. Some of these are small – making sure your grandchildren know you can confide in them, offering your house as a safe space, etc.
It does not matter if you choose large or small showings of support. The most important thing is that you let your grandchildren know that they are loved and supported during the divorce process.
Don’t Pick Sides
It can be incredibly difficult to maintain neutrality during a divorce. That being said, there are very few things more important and indeed more helpful than staying neutral during a child’s divorce. Not only will this help both your children and grandchildren, but it will help you during the process as well.
You are going to want to side with your child. That is human nature. While there is no easy way to change this feeling, you can start to gain empathy for the other party by imagining what they are going through.
Your feelings will not change overnight. However, by consistently practicing mindfulness of the other party and their unique feelings and struggles, you will be much better equipped to not pick sides.
Make Your House a Safe Space
Making your house a safe space for both your child and grandchildren is one of the best tips we can give for grandparents going through a child’s divorce. It is also one of the simplest to start.
Let your child know that they can come to your house whenever they need, and you will open your door without question or judgement. Putting this into practice is easier said than done. Still, letting your child know your house is safe will help them a lot during the divorce process.
Next, let your grandchildren know they can come to your house whenever they want. This goes back to tip number one: making your grandkids the top priority. Giving them a safe, quiet, calm, and peaceful place will likely do wonders for their mental and emotional health.
Do Not Pass Along Inflammatory Information
Whether it is your child or your grandchildren who share inflammatory information with you, you should not pass this information along. As family law attorneys, we can tell you from hard earned experience that nothing constructive will come from it.
It is often difficult to sort out which information is inflammatory and which is simply normal. You can ask yourself the following questions to help decide:
- Does my child already know this information?
- If not, do they need to know? I.e. will it help them in the divorce proceedings from an emotional or legal standpoint?
- Would I want to learn this information if I was going through a divorce?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you may want to keep the information to yourself or your spouse for the time being.
Maintain a Relationship with the In-Laws
This is the final tip and, just like maintain neutrality, it is incredibly difficult. Your child is going through a heart-rending period. The last thing you will want to do is stay friendly with the individual putting them through this.
The good news is you do not have to maintain a friendly relationship with the other parent. You simply need to maintain some relationship. This can be cordial or civil or even cold, though we do not recommend cold.
This will make things easier when you will inevitably need to communicate or ask them for a favor in the future.
These are our top five tips for grandparents during a child’s divorce. If your child is struggling with divorce proceedings, tell them to contact us today. Our team of Boca Raton Family Lawyers will make sure they are taken care of throughout the entire process.