When you divorce, your child has to learn how to treat each parent’s family as a separate entity. In the past, they just had aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Now, these might be identified by to which parent they are related. This is a difficult adjustment for many children.
One thing that you shouldn’t do when you get a divorce is expect that the relationship between your child and extended family members to change. Instead, you should encourage your children to have a healthy relationship with all their relatives, regardless to which side of the family they belong.
When you are working out a custody schedule, remember to account for the child seeing their extended family members as well. It might mean that the parents have to adjust the days the child is at each home if family members from out of town are visiting. Just remember that both adults need to be willing to compromise based on what is best for the children.
Another area where there might be a bit of a challenge is at school functions and similar events. People from both sides of the family might want to attend. Ensure that they are welcome to attend when it is appropriate. You may need to set some ground rules for these interactions, such as no badmouthing each other and no discussing contentious matters.
The children have to be kept at the heart of all custody decisions. Whether you are dealing with family members who live down the street or those who live across the country, encouraging your children to spend time with them might benefit your kids in the long run.