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Grandparents and grandkids - relationships that count

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Grandparents and their grandchildren often have special connections that live in memories forever. Sometimes divorce, adoption or other fluid situations put those relationships at risk, leaving the former generation to wonder about its place in the ones to follow. A Boston College study may encourage Nebraska families who face this situation.

Researchers at the college showed "emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduced depressive symptoms in both groups." Closeness also contributes to stability, which results in fewer behavioral problems in kids. They learn essential lessons about life from their experienced elders while helping the older generation remain mentally astute and interested in life. When families are changing, through divorce or other life events, researchers say grandparents can also provide a safe place for children to talk about what is happening.

Grandfathers and grandmothers may be thinking, "That's all well and good, but I just need to know if I can see my grandkids."

Nebraska lawmakers have helped with that concern by explaining when they generally allow grandparents to petition for visitation. At least one of following conditions routinely applies. If the children's parents have both deceased, the grandparents may request visitation. They may also ask to see their grandchildren if the parents have separated or divorced. Finally, when the mom and dad have never gotten married but he has established paternity, grandparents can feel confident to seek visitation rights. 

It is important for all family members to recognize the significance of a previously established relationship prior to asking for permission to visit. The courts will want evidence the relationship benefits all parties if the judge is to allow grandparents to visit grandchildren. 

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Monzón, Guerra & Associates, Attorneys at Law
1133 H Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

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