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Child custody disputes and a grandparent's important role

Matters related to child custody must be addressed in any divorce where minor-aged children are involved. Ideally, divorcing parents are able to rationally and peaceably sort out terms of a child custody agreement. In many cases, however, parents disagree about what's best for a child and which parent should retain primary custody. As arguments between divorcing parents escalate, other important factors such as the vital role many grandparents play in raising a grandchild, are forgotten.

Many Minneapolis residents likely have fond memories of growing up and spending time with a grandparent. The relationship and close bond between a grandchild and grandparent can play in important role in a child's life. Today, many grandparents help care for and raise grandchildren and many also find that their relationship with a grandchild is deeply and adversely affected when their grown child divorces.

Regardless of a child's age, it's difficult to see one's son or daughter hurt. While it's important to remain supportive and loving of an adult child while he or she is going through a divorce, it's also wise to remain somewhat neutral. Yes, you may never have really liked your son's wife or you may have believed for years that your daughter's husband was cheating on her. However, when it comes to maintaining a relationship with a grandchild, it's wise to keep opinions about a son or daughter's divorce and ex-spouse to oneself.

In the wake of a divorce, more than ever, a grandchild needs unconditional love and support. A grandparent would be wise, therefore to avoid making negative or disparaging comments about a child's parents and instead focus on providing a safe and fun environment for a grandchild. Likewise, divorcing parents would be wise to recognize the important relationship between a child and grandparent and do their best to provide opportunities to foster that relationship.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Grandparenting Children of Divorce," Risa Garon, May 22,2 014

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