The biggest and most immediate impact on divorcing Fort Worth parents is on the couple and their children. But others can feel tension and anguish, too, often including friends, co-workers and grandparents.

A recent article on divorce involving grandchildren offers advice on how grandparents can be there for the kids and for their adult children going through the divorce, too.

The author says there are four groups of people for a grandparent to consider as they tread carefully around a divorce: the other set of grandparents, your adult child, your adult child’s former spouse and your grandchild.

One suggested goal: keep your grandkids’ visits to your home as much as they were like before the divorce as possible.

One psychotherapist (and grandma to 10) said, “Time with grandparents can be a relief for grandchildren who may be caught in the middle of two parents. Your home should be a neutral zone.”

She believes it’s wise for grandparents to focus on the grandchildren, not on the details or disagreements involved in the divorce.

The therapist urges grandparents to resist the urge to be referee or therapist to the grandkids. Just be grandma or grandpa, as you were before the divorce hit.

Talk with them about the divorce if they want to, but don’t spend their visits focused exclusively on that subject. Give them a shoulder to cry on, but remember to be the grandparent devoted to indulging them in ways their parents do not.

If they want to talk about the divorce, take a positive approach in which they are reassured that they are not in any way to blame for their parents’ split.

No one looks forward to a divorce, but a break-up gives grandparents an opportunity to be supportive and to offer a sanctuary from the troubles and concerns grandkids can have at home.

Family Law