Relationships with in-laws can be tricky to start with, but navigating those waters during and after a divorce can bring extra tension to the situation. If you do have mutual children with your former spouse, it’s natural to want to encourage them to maintain relationships with their grandparents, but it also may put you in a tough spot to communicate with what might be your former spouse’s biggest allies. Implementing a few tips for interaction may help you work through this difficult aspect of divorce.
Encourage Positive Relationships
According to Grandparents.com and Lillian Carson, Ph.D. of the book "The Essential Grandparents' Guide to Divorce: Making a Difference in the Family," that children who have relationships with their grandparents should continue to enjoy time with them in as similar-as-possible environments to that of pre-divorce.
So, if you were comfortable with the children visiting your spouse’s parents pre-divorce, try to be amicable about providing similar amounts of time and experiences. This can be very beneficial for your children, who could be struggling to cope with a world of change already. Wherever you can support continuity and a support system for the kids, make the effort.
Stay Friendly for Your Kid's Sake
If you did have a positive relationship with your in-laws, etiquette guidelines suggest that it is acceptable to maintain some communication with them even if you and your spouse have split. Try to give them some time to adjust to the situation too, and recognize that they might feel pulled in two different directions at times.
Go with their flow. If they don’t seem comfortable continuing to speak or spend time together, don't push the issue. In that situation, you can let them know you’re around if they would like to talk or get together sometime, especially when children are involved. This may give in-laws a great sense of relief that you're interested in staying amicable.
Divorce is a complex situation that will affect many people in your life. Working with a professional can help you understand what to expect and how to prepare. If you would like to learn more, contact an Illinois divorce attorney today.
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