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Grandparents may play important role during a contested divorce

When a couple marries, the decision also tends to unite the extended family. Conversely, when a separation becomes inevitable, grandparents are also affected. As many California families have likely discovered, these fractured relationships can be a source of conflict, especially in a contested divorce

When parents decide to separate under less than amicable terms, children may have difficulty adjusting to their new family dynamics. It is in these situations when grandparents can either be a help or a hindrance. It has been suggested by social workers and other family professionals that grandparents work to maintain their relationships with their grandchildren while also trying to remain as neutral as possible with both parents.

Additionally, grandparents may benefit from understanding the guidelines that the parents have set regarding how their children are to be raised. One grandmother purportedly made the decision to allow her pre-teen granddaughter to get her ears pierced in spite of her mother's desire to have the daughter wait until she was older. The disagreement later became part of a serious rift in the family even though the relationship was said to be strong before the divorce.

It has become more common for many grandparents to raise their grandchildren, even when a divorce has not been involved. However, some family experts recommend that grandparents provide a support system for grandchildren rather than attempting to raise them if at all possible. There are many issues that may need to be taken into consideration when California families are involved in divorce proceedings. An experienced family law professional may be able to provide the insight and guidance that can help resolve the majority of these issues in the best interest of the children involved, especially when the parents are caught up in the emotional issues surrounding a contested divorce.

Source:, "Broken families, broken hearts: The grandparents' guide to divorce", Ted Lewis, July 31, 2017

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