Divorce can raise a number of challenges for California families. While marriage dissolution can set the stage for one’s post-divorce financial standing, it can also reshape an individual’s relationship with his or her children. This is why competent legal representation is often necessary for those who want to protect themselves and the best interests of their children as fully as possible. Yet, there are other individuals who may have an interest in these matters, especially child custody and visitation. Grandparents, in particular, may want to retain a relationship with their grandchildren, one that may be under threat when a divorce occurs.
Grandparents can play a crucial role on healthy child development, too. Studies have shown that grandparents who play an active role in their grandchildren’s lives can develop close emotional ties that reduce children’s susceptibility to depression once they grow into adulthood.
Additionally, grandparents often provide grandchildren with extensive amounts of wisdom, a sense of familial history, and mentoring. Grandparents also sometimes provide important financial resources that come in forms other than cash and gifts, such as serving as a babysitter or daycare.
Of course, not all grandparent relationships are beneficial. Sometimes they pose a barrier to a child’s ability to develop a relationship with their parents. In other instances grandparents can be abuse, either physically or emotionally. In these circumstances, parents need to do everything they can to protect their children.
However, when continuation of a relationship between a grandparent and his or her grandchild is in the child’s best interests, then it may become necessary for that grandparent to take legal action to protect that relationship. Given that grandparents are not endowed with any right to visitation following a divorce, it is up to them to convince a family law judge that continued contact should be ordered. Those grandparents in California who want to learn more about grandparents’ rights can reach out to an attorney who is familiar with this area of the law.