Enjoying time with grandchildren is a part of life many people look forward to. However, when conflicts arise with the children’s parents, grandparents might find access to their grandchildren limited or lost. In Alaska, grandparents have rights when it comes to visitation.
Why do conflicts develop?
Conflicts between grandparents and parents usually develop over ideas about parenting and the parent’s rules for their children. Sometimes, these conflicts are the result of accidental overstepping by grandparents into the role of parents. Other times, grandparents might blur the line between parenting and grandparenting, upsetting the parents.
How can you prevent these conflicts?
As a grandparent, the easiest way to prevent conflicts with your grandchildren’s parents is to remember your role as a grandparent. You can do this by taking the steps such as:
- Respecting the parents’ parenting rules
- Giving the family space to be alone
- Encouraging the parents in their parenting
- Being careful about the types of gifts and financial assistance you provide the family
What can you do if the conflict leads to loss of time with your grandchildren?
In some cases, the grandparents might lose access to their grandchildren. In those cases, grandparents can exercise their grandparents’ rights by petitioning the court for visitation. To do this, grandparents would first need to petition to be added to an existing custody case about the children. They would also need to show that they had an ongoing relationship with their grandchildren and that it is in the children’s best interests to spend time with their grandparents. Finally, evidence must be presented that the parent who wants to limit visitation is a threat to the children.
It is always best for grandparents and parents to resolve any issues amicably to avoid affecting the children. However, if the situation gets worse, grandparents might have to seek legal assistance to resolve the issue of visitation.