Divorce Can Affect the Grandparent-Grandchild Relationship
Many relationships change when a family faces divorce. One is the tie between grandparents and their grandchildren. In some cases, divorce makes the relationship more difficult or may even end it. The remarriage of the parent who has custody may be another obstacle for grandparents.
In other situations, a divorce may strengthen these bonds; especially when grandparents become more involved with caring for their grandchildren. In cases where contact between grandparents and grandchildren decreases or ends, the result can be traumatic and painful for all concerned.
Because divorce forces people to take on different roles in relationships, custodial parents may want to communicate what they believe the grandparents role should be and what grandparents can do to be helpful. Grandparents can often maintain a positive relationship with their grandchildren through visits, phone calls, cards, letters and even email.
Talking about concerns before they become problems can avoid tension and misunderstanding. Maintaining good relationships with grandchildren and open communication with their parents are the keys to preserving contact.
If grandparents try to maintain contact, but are still deprived of seeing their grandchildren, then grandparents may need to get legal assistance to arrange for visitation rights.
Reference: GH 6600 "Effects of Divorce on Kids" University of Missouri Extension