Whether they live near you in Florida, in the same house or across the nation, the bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren are special. If you are a grandparent, you already know this and you probably anticipated your first grandchild as much as you did your own first child.
Unfortunately, the bonds between parents and children get strained at times, and you may feel unwelcome or have been told you are not welcome to visit the parents, your grandchildren or both. At the Minaya Law Offices, we understand the emotional turmoil of broken family relationships. We have helped many clients through trying circumstances such as these.
The Boston Globe reports what you already know: The grandparent/grandchild bond is unique, and it has a wealth of benefits for everyone involved. Along with the emotional and psychological benefits of giving and receiving love, both sides of the equation experience less depression and stronger family bonds overall.
Grandparents also get a bridge to a new generation and exposure to new ideas, events and technology that could be limited otherwise. It can also help the older generation stay sharp mentally. Grandchildren benefit from the wisdom and advice of grandparents, gain a historical perspective of their family and are less likely to have behavioral and emotional problems. They are also better able to adjust to changes in their family unit, such as divorce, and other stressful circumstances, such as being bullied.
Despite all of these benefits, it is usually not up to either side to manage the number and types of visits and interaction between grandparents and grandkids. It is very much a parental decision, and Florida laws back that up. Some states recognize grandparents’ rights to see and maintain a relationship with grandkids, but Florida is not one of them. Here, grandparents may sue for visitation rights only if both parents are unfit, deceased or incarcerated, or the child is endangered by maintaining parental relationships.
For grandparents who wish to maintain contact with grandkids, your best bet is to work with the parents despite any feelings of anger or reproach that you may feel. If you fear for the children’s safety, you should report it. Otherwise, maintaining a relationship with the parents is essential to your desire to continue to see your grandchildren. Get more information about dealing with family issues on our webpage.