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Tips for grandparents dealing with alienation from grandchildren

Grandparents can seek custody of grandchildren. As we noted in a post April 8, certain conditions have to apply in order for such action to happen under Texas law. One of the biggest challenges that has to be addressed in mounting such a case is the inherent presumption that a grandparent's right of access to grandchildren is not a given. The parents have a lot to say about it.

Unfortunately, family estrangement is a very real condition. Adult children turning their backs on their parents and shutting them out of their lives and the lives of the next generation is something that some experts say is endemic in the United States. But if the specific conditions that would allow grandparents to seek legal access through custody or visitation don't exist, what can be done?

Following are some tips from an organization that seeks to offer support. It's called Alienated Grandparents Anonymous. Its stated mission is to offer grandparents suffering estrangement from children and grandchildren a means to talk about their pain in a safe environment.

The last thing that a loving grandparent wants is for conflict between them and their adult children to erode relations with their children's children. To that end, in those times when direct communication with grandchildren might be difficult, AGA suggests these ideas.

Collect and maintain things you want to share with your grandchildren. These might include your personal stories, pictures of extended family or cards and letters you would send if you could. These stories will be important in transmitting family legacy.

Keep scrapbooks for the activities and achievements of each grandchild. The day may come when the veil of alienation is lifted and these personal libraries could be the bricks that reconstruct your relationships.

It's important to note that the law may limit what grandparents can and cannot do. To be sure your efforts to exercise your rights are done within legal bounds, you should consult with a skilled family law attorney.

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