Grandparents have rights and mediation is the first place to start. Having a supervised conversation with a trained mediator to work out whats gone wrong and how things can be put right to resume child access
Mediation for Grandparents
A divorce is a very difficult time for everyone. Its effects are not just limited to the two spouses filing for separation; other family members too are largely affected by it. Grandparents, in particular, are also affected by it. In any child’s life, it’s the grandparents who are often the most relevant figures. It’s the grandparents to whom a child goes to if he needs guidance or reassurance.
The relationship shared between grandparents and grandchildren is as relaxing as it is beautiful. Unfortunately, a divorce affects this relationship as well. As a grandmother or a grandfather, a separated family may leave you with conflicted loyalties. On one side, you may want to support your child during the process of separation, but on the other hand, your love for your grandchild may make it next to impossible to pick any particular side.
It is helpful and advisable to establish an environment where it is easy to communicate and express your feelings without offending or criticizing anyone. This can be achieved through mediation.
In some families, the relationship shared between the in laws is good and healthy because of which it is decided that the grandparents need to be heavily involved with their grandchildren. In other cases, however, the relation shared between the in-laws is poor and one (or both) of the parents may prefer for there to be a more limited relationship shared between the grandparents and their grandchildren.
While it is good to think that grandparents would have a constant presence in their grandchildren’s lives even after the divorce, it is wiser to prepare for some changes. Here are some things grandparents can do to prepare for this –
- Reaching an understanding with the parents – The first thing the grandparents can do, and one that is the most desirable option, is to reach an understanding with the parents. Not only will this ensure that an amicable relationship is maintained with the children, but it will also make things hassle free for everyone and resolve child contact issues
- Contacting a solicitor – If for some unfortunate reason you are not able to build any contact with the parents, or if an agreement cannot be reached, then a family law solicitor should be contacted. This is because a law solicitor will be able to provide you with useful advice and appropriate options which would be okay with both you and the parents.
- Family mediation – Finally, whenever possible you should always opt for family mediation . Whenever talks fail, mediation becomes extremely useful in helping reach an understanding. Basically, in mediation what happens is that a mediator or a moderator, who is neutral, meets with the parents and grandparents separately at first in order to evaluate whether or not mediation is going to help this case.
- If the case is fit for mediation, then everyone is made to attend a joint session. The main purpose of mediation is to help the parties reach and understanding that is suitable for everyone.