Should You Stay in Touch with Your In-Laws After a Divorce?
Some couples divorce amicably, while others suffer bitter contention. Either way, you may find it hard to lose not only your spouse, but also your in-laws, if you became close with your spouse’s family during the course of your marriage. On the other hand, your in-laws might have reason to stay in touch with you, and you could find this difficult to swallow if you didn’t get along with them during your marriage.
Social waters can be tricky to navigate following divorce. Although there is typically no legal reason to remain in touch with your in-laws, you may find that you want to, or that they want to stay in touch with you. Is this possible or advisable? Here are a few things to consider.
Divorce Involving Children
If you’ve gained sole custody of children as part of the divorce agreement or the joint custody arrangement provides you with majority parenting time, it’s only natural that your in-laws would want to keep in touch with you in order to remain in your children’s lives. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins may naturally want to stay connected to your children, even though you’re no longer married to their blood relative.
While circumstances may leave you unwilling to remain connected to your in-laws, you should at least consider the best interests of your children. If they are close to your in-laws and will suffer from being separated from them, you may want to facilitate visits to preserve those relationships for your children, particularly if there is no harm in doing so.
If, on the other hand, you fear that your in-laws are only trying to connect with children in an attempt to secretly allow them to see your ex-spouse outside of arranged parenting time, or outside of supervised visits meant for the safety and protection of children, you are well within your rights to deny contact and cut ties with your in-laws.
The Interest of Either Party
Whether children are involved or not, both you and your in-laws may have an interest in maintaining a relationship after divorce. Your ability to do so may also depend on the feelings and wishes of your ex-spouse.
It’s natural for your in-laws to express loyalty toward their own blood relative over you, and you should not fault them for this. They may feel obligated to support your ex, even at the expense of a loving relationship with you, or your ex may ask them not to see you for complex social and emotional reasons.
By the same token, you might feel awkward continuing a relationship with in-laws, knowing there are parts of your life you can’t easily share with them (like ongoing problems with your ex-spouse, or new romantic relationships, for example).
An Amicable versus Contentious Divorce
The final consideration is whether your divorce was amicable or contentious. In an amicable divorce, both parties may continue to get along, and may have no trouble with the prospect of staying in contact with each other’s in-laws. In a contentious divorce, maintaining relationships with in-laws could fuel further contention, or you may fear they’re reporting on you to provide your ex with some legal benefit down the line, in which case it’s probably best to cease contact.
The experts at The Gucciardo Law Firm can guide you through every aspect of the divorce process. Contact us today at 248-723-5190 or online to schedule a free consultation and get started.
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