When a couple with children splits up, the effects ripple throughout the entire family. Sadly, grandparents often end up stuck between two warring people who are embroiled in a bitter custody dispute, or you may find that your adult child has given up all of their parental rights, which leaves you in a lurch. It may be tempting to just cut your losses, yet you should know that grandparents have the right to visit with their grandkids. In fact, the relationship between you and your grandchild is important for their healthy development. Although you might not be able to get their parents back together, you can continue to be an important influence in your grandchild’s life by understanding this information about making sure that your visitation rights are upheld.
Start by Asking for a Visit
The old saying that you never know until you try applies to this situation. Consider the possibility that your grandchild’s other parent simply hasn’t thought about the importance of giving your time to visit. Alternatively, your child may think that your strained relationship also applies to the grandkids. Start off by asking if you can see the grandkids, and have a set time and day in mind. Hopefully, your request is met with approval, but if not, you can rest assured that there are still options for seeing your grandkids.
Explore Reasons for Resistance
It’s upsetting to be turned down for a visit, and it can especially sting if you believe that your grandchild’s parent is one of the 13 percent of people who claim that they do not get along with their in-laws. However, there could be more manageable things at work in this situation. For instance, your grandchild may just really have a busy schedule, and their other parent has no idea how to squeeze in a visit. In this case, offering to attend a sporting event or school play could be a compromise. If you feel that there are other issues affecting the answer, such as resentment, then it may be necessary to consult with a lawyer to find out your options.
Try to Work Out a Solution
If you are able to find out the reason for the resistance, try to work out an agreeable solution. This can be done informally, such as simply telling your grandkid’s parent that you will visit under their parameters, like meeting in a public place or while the parent is present. Alternatively, you could work through a mediation professional who helps you work out an agreement without going to court. These methods allow you to avoid forcing your grandchild’s parent into an agreement that makes them resentful.
Seek Legal Assistance as Needed
Unfortunately, there are situations where one parent simply refuses to allow the grandparents to be involved. When you know that the grandkids will benefit from your influence, it may be necessary to seek legal advice regarding how to get grandparents’ visitation rights. Having a set schedule for visitation not only gives you reassurance that you will be able to see your grandchildren, but it also allows them to benefit from having consistent opportunities to spend time with their family.
Keep Your End of the Bargain
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 43 percent of kids in America are growing up without their fathers in the household today. This means that your grandchild may depend upon you for emotional support that they may not be getting from one of their parents. Kids who have gone through a divorce are also hesitant to have their world rocked again. So, be cautious as you build your relationship together, and always do your best to stick to any visitation rules that are in place. Respecting your grandchild’s parents’ boundaries establishes trust that can mend your relationship.
The bond between a grandparent and their grandchild is one that lasts forever. While your adult child may have divorced or broken up with the other parent, this does not mean that your relationship with your grandchild has ended. Staying connected through regular visitations is an important way to maintain your bond as a family.