Grandparents play a vital role in your child’s development. Divorce can affect this relationship. When the children have the opportunity to spend time with their grandparents, it can create bonds that last a lifetime. When this doesn’t happen, it can create divisions that never truly heal. Whenever possible, it is usually in the best interests of the child to ensure that grandparents can contact and spend time with their grandchildren.
When it comes to your parents, you can provide them as much access to your children as you desire when they are with you. Access means that you can go to the ballgame, enjoy holidays, and do other things with them. You can invite them to special events, allow your children to speak to them on the phone, or make contact through social media. These are things the other parent can’t deny you from doing when your children are with you.
However, there are limitations. For instance, unless specified within your custody agreement, or unless you have sole legal custody, you can’t leave the child with the grandparent. You also want to put limitations on your parents. For instance, you don’t want them to encourage your child to “take sides” in the divorce any more than you want them to tell them how to dress, or about “that time” when you did something you’d rather they not know about from your youth. Establishing boundaries with your parents will likely encourage your ex-spouse to set boundaries with their parents. Boundaries help ensure that grandparents remain neutral observers to divorce and custody proceedings instead of active participants.
One of the reasons that grandparent visitation is so essential is that it helps children better understand themselves. It helps children understand the backgrounds of their extended family and how those backgrounds influence their skills and abilities, interests, religious beliefs, etc. As your children grow up, maintaining a strong relationship with both sets of grandparents will help them determine who they want to be as an adult, and how they want to live their life.
Grandparents have the unique ability to become trusted advisors. The more time your children can spend with them, the more support they can provide. They are a sounding board that can help them resolve conflicts with siblings and parents and provide educational and career advice. And when necessary, grandparents can help protect them from abuse and other trauma they may be dealing with in their life.
Finally, another less pleasant reason for having your children establish and maintain strong relationships with grandparents is because death is unpredictable, and you are not exempt because you are a parent. In a worst-case scenario wherein both you and your ex-spouse pass away before the child is an adult, grandparents are often the first people called upon to become the child’s guardian. If the worst comes to pass, the better the relationship they have with their grandparents, the easier it will be for them to cope with that transition. And, should your ex-spouse survive and deny your parents access to your children, an established grandparent-child relationship is grounds for them to pursue grandparent visitation rights within Arizona courts.
Contact Simon Law Group, PLLC at 480-745-2450, to learn more about grandparent visitation in Arizona. We will help you understand the law and the rights of grandparents or great grandparents who wish to be a part of your child’s life after divorce or paternity case.