Over the weekend, Sambora, 59, took the former couple’s 21-year-old daughter Ava to see his mother, Joan, in New Jersey, a source close to the Sambora family tells PEOPLE.
“[Ava] is going to school full time,” the source says. “The semester is ending and she had a slight window and she wanted to see her grandma. They have been close their whole life and she needed to see her family. … They just went to the boardwalk and hung out and laughed a lot.”
“With Heather back in rehab, it puts a smile back on her face — being with the family,” the source adds.
“Joan brought much needed love and smiles,” the source continues about Sambora’s mother. “Like Richie, she’s always had love for Heather.”
The rocker and Melrose Place star were married from 1994–2007.
“Richie has always been very proud of Ava’s strength and has always been there for her,” the source says. “When Ava was younger, she did not realize anyone else was dealing with the stress of her mom’s issue besides her. As she gets older, she knows she’s not alone, and now she has a better understanding of that. She realizes it affects her dad too and they’re trying to help each other.”
Last week, the source confirmed to PEOPLE that Locklear, 57, is currently living in an in-patient facility.
According to the source, Locklear’s ongoing battle with substance abuse is “tearing up her family.”
Locklear’s former rep said that they are no longer in communication with the actress. Access first reported the news of her return to rehab.
Locklear’s difficult past year includes an arrest last June after she allegedly attacked a police officer and an EMT who responded to a disturbance call, a hospitalization for a possible overdose that same month, and time in rehab last fall.
At the end of December, Locklear left her treatment facility to celebrate Christmas in Los Angeles with loved ones.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.