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Maintaining the grandparent relationship after divorce

When Georgia parents decide to divorce, their children may feel as if their world has suddenly become incredibly unstable as they work to adjust to a new family life and possibly a new home, neighborhood and school. As such, it is important for parents to maintain as much stability in their child’s life as possible, especially during the early days during and following the divorce.

One good source of stability may be grandparents or other family members to whom the child feels close. However, if you have just gone through a bitter divorce, maintaining a good relationship with your now-former in-laws is probably pretty low on your priority list. But doing so can go a long way in helping your child through your split and ensuring peace and harmony throughout your new family.

One of the most important steps toward maintaining the relationship between your child and your former parents-in-law is to define your own relationship with them. Decide how much contact you want to have with them, and in what context that contact will take place. Do your best not to let your feelings and emotions toward your ex-spouse spill over into your dealings with them.

Also, you will need to determine your preferred method of communication with your former in-laws, and inform them of that decision. Set the tone for your relationship by keeping in contact with them, but set boundaries as to how and when that contact will take place.

And as always, keep the needs of your children at the forefront, and do whatever is best for them and for your family.

Source: The New York Times, “Navigating Relationships With Grandparents in a Divorce,” KJ Dell’Antonia, May 17, 2012