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What happens to extended family in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2022 | Divorce |

When you marry someone, you typically marry their family too. Unless all their relatives live far away, are estranged or dead, you will likely see them. It could be a lot, or it could be a little. If you have kids, that connection is likely to be even stronger.

That can all change when you divorce. The people who welcomed you into their homes with open arms may now tell you the door is firmly shut. Why is this, and what can you do about it?

Family comes first

Many people are loyal to their family first. However much they fall out, when push comes to shove, they are there for each other. Sadly some interpret that as meaning when a family member turns against you, they too feel obliged to turn against you.

That could be down to their own overprotective instincts, where anyone that makes their little girl or boy cry must be bad. Or because your spouse has encouraged or even demanded they act like that.

Parents can struggle to see their child as capable of doing any wrong

You file for divorce because your spouse has abused you for years. Your in-laws cannot believe that the child they raised could be capable of cruelty.  Perhaps doing so would make them feel guilty. Hence they assume you must be lying and that you are the villain here.

Remember, things can work both ways. Your parents might also feel they must distance themselves from your spouse. All in all, it can result in pain for you, your spouse, your in-laws and your kids, who will perhaps suffer more than anyone.

Talking this through with your spouse is crucial to the future happiness of everyone. As is creating a custody arrangement that enables important relationships to continue.