Grandparents and Divorce
In the emotional turmoil accompanying a divorce it is sometimes all too easy to forget that the effects of that divorce are not just felt by the separating couple and their children, but also by the couple’s extended families.
It can be a huge blow to grandparents when their children’s marriage fails. The circumstances can be terrible, and the emotional burden enormous, and at the heart of it all the children of that marriage or relationship may be frightened and confused, and may be struggling to understand what is happening around them. In such circumstances their grandparents may be the most stable influence on their lives, and they often cling to that relationship.
It can thus be much harder following a divorce if the grandparents are suddenly unable to see their grandchildren. This can happen for a variety of reasons, and the effects on both grandparents and grandchildren can be enormous and long term. Grandparents can, of course, apply to the courts for an order granting contact with their grandchildren, but such a drastic step can risk introducing further acrimony into what can already been an extremely acrimonious situation. Better to achieve that contact by consensus rather than by compulsion.
At Hampshire Mediation we specialise in helping families through divorce and separation. This may mean helping them to draw up the terms of their separation or divorce as part of the overall process, or it may involve helping couples who have already separated or divorced to come together to address issues which can arise long after the divorce or separation. And it is not only parents that we seek to help.
We recognise the tremendous importance that grandparents can have in the lives of their grandchildren, and the steadying influence that they can represent during and after what will inevitably be a time of enormous change and upset for the children of the separating couple. We also recognise the anguish and hurt that grandparents will feel when the contact that they have with their grandchildren is curtailed or even stopped altogether.
We work with grandparents and parents to seek equitable solutions to problems such as this, working collaboratively to ensure that misgivings and worries are aired and addressed and that everyone’s opinion can be heard. We strive to promote an atmosphere of cooperation and calm, helping people to find sensible and sustainable solutions to their differences in a neutral environment.