Divorce doesn’t just affect spouses or the household. Several of the major decisions trickle down and affect the lives of extended family, friends, and loved ones. Many grandparents are heavily affected by the divorce of their grandchildren’s parents. Grandparent’s rights are possible in Michigan. But whether you’ll actually be awarded them depends on a number of factors such as your relationship with your grandchild, previous behaviors, your age and health, and the grandchild’s desire to maintain a relationship. Fortunately, there are some tips to help you secure grandparent’s custody rights and continue a solid and supportive relationship with your grandchildren after their parents’ divorce.
Maintain a Steady Relationship with Your Grand Kids
Your grandchildren are going through enough and it’s not your job to take care of all of their emotional and behavioral needs. However, if you have a decent existing relationship with them, this is the time to keep that as stable and normal as possible. Your grandchildren may see you as a release from the stress and household turmoil going on at home. Embrace that and let them have something that’s just theirs and that doesn’t remind them of their parents’ impending split every minute of the day.
Try to Maintain or Build a Relationship with the Other Parent
It takes two to make or break a marriage, but the reasons behind divorce are often lopsided. Chances are you’ve heard some horror stories about the soon-to-be-ex and you may have even witnessed some firsthand. You may even hate being in the same room with your in-law. But if both parents are devoted to the kids, the other parent will be a permanent presence. It’s always better to let go of the anger or disappointment and focus on the present and future. Build or maintain a decent relationship with both parents during the divorce because their support will make obtaining a fair and consistent grandparenting schedule a lot easier.
Always Stay Neutral and Focused on the Kids
A competent Michigan divorce attorney will always push the importance of not fighting among the parents, especially around the kids. And the same is true for grandparents. You very well may have incredibly strong feelings or opinions regarding one of their parents, but the kids don’t need to hear that or be played like tug-of-war. You’re the adult, so keep your feelings about their parents to yourself. Your grandchildren don’t need the extra stress. They need you.
Be Understanding and Patient Regarding Holidays and Special Events
Divorce will change your grandchildren’s lives in many ways, including suddenly having two family situations and potentially two households to deal with and adjust to. Co-parenting arrangements allow the parents to schedule their visitations, vacations, and other needs such as shared or traded holidays and special events. Maybe Christmas or birthdays were when you hosted big family events in the past, but now with two separate households, change is imminent. Be patient and understanding during this time. Decent and loving parents want the best for their kids, and if you’re close to your grandchildren, that will include you. If you’re truly unsure about your grandparent custody rights and you’re getting the runaround, contact your Michigan divorce attorney to find out what can be done in your favor.