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The Role of Grandparents after Separation

When parents separate, the relationship grandchildren have with their grandparents, is often affected. Well established routines, with grandparents, stop. Sometimes, this is sudden and without explanation.

The effect of this creates uncertainty and anxiety for children and grandparents alike. Grandparents who are often left feeling very anxious and worried that they will not be allowed to spend time with or support their grandchildren, in the way they done in the past.

Invariably, they want to continue to play a role in their grandchildren’s lives and wish to avoid being drawn into the adult/parent conflict.

Many different reasons are often cited by parents as to why previously extensive inclusion of grandparents, in the lives of their children, should be reduced or stopped. We hear from parents who are often concerned about how children are going divide their time, often presume that their ‘in-laws’ will be unwilling to help them or will be critical of them as a result of the relationship breakdown.

Grandparents – Support for grandchildren

Grandparents can be a very good resource for parents going through a separation. They can offer stability and continuity. Grandparents can often be “the steadying element” for children, in a time of emotional upheaval, housing changes, providing the children with someone other than their parents to talk to or give them a break from any parental conflict.

As such, grandparents can be part of a solution and support to minimise the impact of separating parents, upon children.

Grandparents can fill practical roles in collecting and delivering, children in a sensitive supportive manner, between parents who are struggling. Alternatively, they can enable activities to happen, which neither parent could facilitate. In turn this can assist parents financially, by reducing the amount of costly pre/post school and holiday clubs. This can lessen the strain on finances for parents.

Parents can approach grandparents directly, rather than going through the other parent. There is no property/ownership of a grandparent, as they are connected/related to their grandchildren.

Mediation can offer a good environment, if it is suitable and all participants are willing to consider discuss grandparents roles and time with children. This can involve grandparents being part of the Mediation process directly, or alternatively, providing support, to parents who are Mediating. Mediation between family members, including grandparents or other extended family members, can in some circumstances be free.

Get In Touch

If you, or someone you know, have any questions about making arrangements for children, following a family breakdown please contact one of our experienced Administrators on 01623 706020 or email us on or you can fill in the contact form.

Going to mediation really helped my situation and sorted things out, I believe in a much quicker and easier way. The mediators I dealt with were very helpful in the sense of giving us all the information and making sure we understood clearly before making any decisions by ourselves