Grandparents who are left out after a divorce: Part one

It’s a sad reality, but sometimes divorce can be just as hard on grandparents in Missouri as it is on the rest of the family. As a recent article in The Huffington Post reported, it is quite common for grandparents to feel pushed away or alienated from their grandchildren after the children’s parents go through a divorce.

The article said that this phenomenon can be attributed to a few factors such as the children be torn about whose side to take or the children hearing one of their parents blame a grandparent for problems in the marriage. Grandparents can unintentionally be shut out as well with new living arrangements.

Luckily, not all grandparents find themselves in this predicament when their children go through a divorce. In fact, some grandparents end up a lot closer to their grandchildren than they were before the split. Interestingly, research suggests that the role of a grandparent following a divorce could depend a lot on whether the grandparent is on the maternal or paternal side.

According to the article, sociologists Cherlin and Furstenberg discovered that maternal grandparents are more likely to uphold or even improve their relationship with their grandchildren following a divorce, while paternal grandparents are more likely to see their relationship with their grandchildren suffer.

The sociologists found this pattern to be true even in cases involving joint custody, the article reported. However, the article provided some tips for grandparents on both sides who feel shut out of their grandchildren’s lives. Please check back later this week for the author’s advice.

Source: The Huffington Post, “When Grandparents Are Shut Out,” Marsha Temlock, Sept. 9, 2011.

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