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Grandparenting in divorced families$
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Neil Ferguson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344984

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344984.001.0001

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Taking sides

Taking sides

(p.89) Nine Taking sides
Grandparenting in divorced families

Neil Ferguson

Gillian Douglas

Nigel Lowe

Mervyn Murch

Margaret Robinson

Policy Press

This chapter observes that following parental separation and divorce, grandparents in this study usually sympathised with their adult child and criticised the behaviour of their ex-son-in-law or ex-daughter-in-law. It notes, however, that this is not the only strategy and, although it is recognised that divorce is a difficult process, some couples appeared to achieve reasonably harmonious arrangements and a minority of grandparents demonstrated that their non-partisan approach could also make a contribution to harmony. It further notes that most did not think about the longer-term implications of their relationships with an ex-child-in-law. It observes that they are often angry and some are bitterly partisan in their feelings. It further observes that some grandparents took sides after the break-up and continued to harbour strong feelings of resentment for their sons- or daughters-in-law long after their child's marriage had ended. It notes that parents often reported that their own parents ceased contact with their ex-spouse because they held him or her responsible for the failure of the marriage. It observes that this is often presented as a natural feeling and one that might reasonably be expected of grandparents in a divorced family.

Keywords:   parental separation, grandparents, divorce, non-partisan approach, marriage, divorced family

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