Spending time with your grandchildren can be difficult if your child is going through a divorce or custody battle. Of course, you may feel as if you are taking sides and want to stay above the fray, but you don’t want to sacrifice your relationship with your grandchild.
With this conundrum, what is a grandparent to do? This post will highlight several options.
First, grandparents may try engaging the custodial parent directly. This could be advantageous where the relationship between grandparents and the custodial parent is amicable, and it is particularly helpful when planning a family gathering to invite the parent. Another option can be to have a third party (perhaps a mutual family friend) act as a go-between to negotiate time to be spent. This may be a good option if a truce needs to be brokered as well.
If the relationship is no longer functional, obtaining court ordered time with your grandchild may be necessary. This would include a motion for parenting time, in the same way a non-custodial parent would seek such access.
Essentially, spending time with a grandparent must be in the best interest of the child. To reach this conclusion, courts review a number of factors, including the previous relationship between the grandparent and the child, how much time has passed between previous visits, and whether any physical limitations prevent the grandparent from caring for the child.
If you have additional questions about establishing court ordered parenting time as a grandparent, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.