Request My Consultation

You've got questions?

We've got answers!**

Send My Info

How to Include Grandparents in a Settlement Agreement

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 17-Jul-2012

Grandparents are living longer, and this means more involvement in their grandchildren's lives. Being a grandparent to children of divorced parents has become a modern reality. The emotional turmoil and uncertainty of your divorce has the potential to make grandparents fearful of losing their relationship with their grandchildren. Getting a grandparent's visitation rights written into a martial settlement agreement can provide structure for your grandchildren and give them the comfort of knowing that they will continue to be part of their grandchildren's lives in the future.

There are several ways that you can help grandparents to cope with your divorce, and how to help them stay in their grandchildren's lives. Consider the following suggestions for helping grandparents cope with your divorce, and for including grandparents in your marital settlement agreement.

The first step is to give grandparents space to grieve, it's part of the emotional healing process. Many of the dreams that grandparents may have had are no longer a reality, and there is a deep disappointment which comes with facing the reality of the situation. Even if grandparents may have suspected things weren't going well in the marriage, the traumatic news can be difficult to emotionally cope with.

Feelings of guilt are also normal. Grandparents may feel guilty for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons can include guilt from their own divorce and how it has impacted your mariage. Grandparents may wonder if they could have done something to prevent the divorce. Don't let them fall into the trap of being stuck in guilt. Gently communicate with them and help grandparents move their emotions in a positive direction.

Ask the grandparents to keep their opinions to themselves when around your spouse and thier grandchildren. Staying as neutral as possible will not only give your family some stability, but will leave the door open for spending more time with their grandchildren. Divorce is between you and your spouse, and it is not their place to pick sides and verbally annihilate your spouse. A great way to include grandparents at this difficult time of divorce is by asking them to help watch their grandchildren. This could be a few hours of time for them to connect and feel a part of their grandchildren's lives instead of feeling threatened and alientated. It can also give you the break that you'll need during the difficult time of divorce.

Encourage grandparents to listen to their grandchildren when the grandchildren talk about the divorce. After all, the grandparents may be the only ones that your children feel comfortable expressing themselves to and they can provide a safe place for them to blow off some steam. Don't make the mistake of forcing grandparents to take sides or pass judgment on your soon to be ex-spouse. Also, they may able to help the grandchildren to express themselves if they don't have the vocabulary to express their emotions.

When you are negotiating your marital settlement agreement with your spouse, you may want to ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much time do the grandparents get with their grandchildren?
  2. Are there opportunities for the grandparents to help out, such as picking up a grandchild from school once a week? Taking the grandchildren to an activity?
  3. When do the grandparents get to see their grandkids?
  4. Will the grandchildren be part of family get togethers, reunions and celebrations?
  5. Will grandchildren travel with their grandparents? If so, when? How often?

Once you are ready to have your marital settlement agreement finalized, Attorney Cairns can create a marital settlement agreement for you and your spouse to sign. You can contact Attorney Cairns for a free consultation at 888.863.9115 or start right away by clicking on DIVORCE WIZARD. Read client testimonials and reviews on Avvo and see why Cairns Law Offices is a better choice.