Though grandparents don’t have all the same rights as parents when it comes to custody, losing the right to see their grandchildren can be a devastating effect of divorce. It’s particularly common for the grandparents on the noncustodial side of the family to see their grandchildren less; there is less time for them to share with the children, and if the estranged spouse of their son or daughter doesn’t want them to have time, it’s easy not to allow for any extra visitation.
In Florida, a group called Alienated Grandparents Anonymous focuses on situations in which grandparents become distanced from their grandchildren. Sometimes, it’s because of a toxic daughter-in-law or even their own children. This unhealthy relationship affects the grandparent’s time and relationship with his or her grandchild.
This group has meetings during which those who are experiencing alienation can discuss their situations. Sometimes, fixing a poor relationship with a daughter- or son-in-law could help resolve the situation. Other times, all people can do is talk about what they wish could happen and try to see things from another angle.
If your relationship with your grandchild is really in the best interests of your grandchild, then there is still a chance you could obtain visitation rights or custody, depending on the situation. Since every situation is unique, it’s important to talk to someone familiar with the law. Grandparents sometimes are viewed as if they’re family members that can be ignored or that a child can do without, but that may not be the case for your grandchildren. Each case deserves to be heard fairly.
Source: The Dickinson Press, “A rift in the family: ‘Grandparent alienation’ described as common, traumatic,” Dave Olson, Oct. 13, 2017