Divorce can be a very emotional process for children who watch their parents’ marriages end. During this time of upheaval, preserving important familial relationships can be key for emotional support. In Pennsylvania, grandparents can even seek grandparent visitation to better support their relationships with their grandchildren.
Considering a grandchild’s best interests
As with all matters relating to custody and visitation, any decisions about grandparent visitation should be made with the child’s best interests in mind. This means that to get visitation with one’s grandchild, it has to actually be beneficial for him or her. Factors that a judge may look at when considering grandparent visitation include:
- The grandchild’s emotional and physical well-being
- The grandparent’s ability to meet any needs
- Wishes of the grandchild, grandparents and parents
- Length and strength of the grandparent/grandchild relationship
- Physical distance between the grandparent and grandchild
Custody is also an option
In some situations, it may be better for a grandparent to seek custody rather than visitation. This is often the result of either one or both parents being incompetent, abusive or otherwise unfit to care for their child. Again, this decision must be based on the child’s best interests and not the wishes of the grandparent.
Multigenerational relationships can be beneficial to everyone involved. However, preserving those relationships during rocky periods in life — including divorce — can be extremely difficult. Grandparents in Pennsylvania who hope to maintain loving relationships with their grandchild may want to consider whether seeking grandparent visitation can help support their goals.