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Grandparents and your Maryland divorce

There are many people affected by a divorce with children, including some who may be an integral part of the children's lives: their grandparents.

How can you incorporate grandparents into a visitation or child custody agreement? What can you do to make sure your children's grandparents remain in their lives?

The answer to these questions depends on how the divorcing parents are able to interact during the divorce. Can you agree that the grandparents should have time with the children? If so, how much time?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Pay attention to what your kids need - do they want to see their grandparents? How will visiting their grandparents benefit them? Do they have a close relationship with their grandparents?
  • Even if you are not friendly with your ex's parents, remember that your ex's parents were not responsible for your divorce and that they care about your children.
  • Keep in contact with your ex's parents and let them know that they can contact you directly.
  • Invite the grandparents to concerts, graduations and other school events.

The best time to set expectations for grandparent visitation after a divorce is during the divorce. Discuss what you would like to see happen with your spouse now to help alleviate tension in the future.

And, perhaps most importantly, do not forget that your divorce is about more than you and your spouse. Your children are also going through a challenging time and it is important to maintain as much "normalcy" as possible. This may mean making personal sacrifices to keep the people that are important to your children in your children's lives.

Source: The New York Times, "Navigating Relationships With Grandparents in a Divorce," KJ Dell'Antonia, May 17, 2012.

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