The trend of grandparents playing a more significant role in the lives of their grandchildren continues to grow. The evolving dynamic provides unlimited benefits for children who, more than ever, form closer bonds with their grandmas and grandpas. The relationship can have numerous benefits for grandchildren as they grow up.
A focus on the best interests of the children
Grandparents’ visitation statutes exist in all 50 states. New Jersey’s statute allows for visitation applications for grandparents. As with any aspect of divorce, the best interests of the children remain the focus of any decision. Additional factors can also play a role when it comes to relationship dynamics, frequency of contact, impact on the child/parent relationship, and any history of abuse or neglect.
Various scenarios can result in grandparents pursuing visitation. Their children seeking divorce can leave them wondering about their rights following the formalization of the marital dissolution. In other cases, grandparents are motivated to formalize visitation due to the children not living with any immediate family members due to particular circumstances. Taking action can put grandparents on the path to have a more substantial presence in their grandchildren’s lives.
Mediation versus litigation
Legally, grandparents can file for visitation rights in court over the parents’ objections. However, forcing the issue can create animosity. Mediating the dispute can be more effective to bring both sides to the table to avoid a contentious setting that does little to help anyone. Focusing on the benefits as opposed to the drawbacks while clarifying intentions can make a difference.
Highly personal matters can combine emotionally charged issues with legal complexities. When the well-being of children is involved, personal feelings serve more as blockades to resolutions. All parties involved in grandchild visitation matter must understand that rulings are not made with hearts on sleeves. The facts of the case combined with the children’s best interests will determine the outcome.