Laverne Cassidy is Cate and Abby's mother, and Lux's maternal grandmother. She is portrayed as a very free spirit, and seems to have a bit of an attraction to Baze. Like Cate, Mrs. Cassidy became pregnant (with Cate) unexpectedly at a young age. However, instead of choosing adoption, she and Grant decide to get married and stay together, despite the fact that are not in love. When the marriage begins to fail, she intentionally becomes pregnant with Abby to keep the relationship together, but this fails, and Grant leaves. Laverne raises the two girls on her own, which while being noble, leads to her having a drinking problem while the girls are growing up.
Laverne has short dark hair like Cate, and usually dresses in flirtatious clothing. She appears to be the tallest female character, standing taller than both her daughter's, Fern, and Ryan's sister. Despite being middle-aged(fifty according to the age she had Cate), she has a very young appearance, compared to the looks of Baze's parents. Her hair grows much longer in her last appearance.
What is known before the series is that Laverne met Grant at the age of eighteen. After getting pregnant, she gave up college to raise her daughter, though, she comtemplated keeping Cate. She and Grant married, and she had Abby when the marriage started to fall apart, though, it did little in keeping Grant around. He left when she was 24, and she took on the role of a single mother for the next several years. This led to three other failed marriages and a drinking habit that caused a rift between her and Cate. By 34, she was the grandmother of an infant Lux. So Cate would not endure the same thing as her, she told her daughter to give her up, a choice that would soon come back to badly effect their relationship, as well as a long kept secret that Cate had always expected.
Laverne first appears in the episode Rent Uncollected, being invited by Baze's mother to help discuss their newly discovered granddaughter, Lux. When Laverne suggests Lux should live with her, both Ellen and Cate object.
Laverne goes on to be mentioned in Family Therapized, where Cate tells Lux that she had no one to turn to when she got pregnant because her mom was drinking herself through another divorce. Abby also refers to their mom as a drunk in this episode. Cate has a conversation with her mom in the following episode Storm Weathered on the phone, and after an agitating conversation fakes a line break-up, then hangs up on her. Near the end of this episode, Cate exludes her from a list of people she wished would've been there for her during her pregnancy, the list being being Abby, Baze's mom, or her dad, hinting at Laverne's involvement in giving Lux up revealed in season 2.
Laverne physically appears again in the episode Father Unfigured when Cate discusses her father. Laverne warns Cate not to see him, but when she does anyway, her mother ends up being right about him. Cate asks her to walk her down the aisle in place of her father, in which Laverne gladly accepts.
In the first season finale, Love Unexpected, Laverne shows up at Cate's wedding and hits on Ryan's dad. She states that she was married four times. While sharing a limbo ride with her daughter, she began pointings out that Cate does not want to commit, a trait she shares with her father. She then goes on to reveal that Cate is "projecting" when she starts thinking Ryan really might not want to get married, and states that she's the actual one that does not want to get married to Ryan. This causes Lux to believe that deep down, her mother may still have feelings for Baze.
In the episode, Music Faced, Laverne shows up in the crossover episode, excited about having another grandchild until she learns that Cate isn't "trying" to get pregnant, and has been taking pills. When Ryan finds out, Cate says that she doesn't want to be a mom because of her. When Laverne "loses" Lux while chaperoning at a concert, Cate gets upset and confronts her, reminding her that she is the one who pressured her into giving up Lux. At this moment Laverne reveals to Cate what she always assumed; she did not want Cate when she got pregnant anymore than she wanted Lux because she was only eighteen years old. The two have a blow out over this, but make up later when Laverne finds Lux. She goes on to reassure her daughter that Lux will always turn to Cate as a mom when she needs her as long as she is still willing to be just that. When Lux does just that, Laverne leaves the two alone, smiling at her daughter before walking off.
Laverne's final appearance is when she showed up during thanksgiving in the episode Thanks Ungiven which she learned her daughter was pregnant. After Cate "breaks down", Laverne has a heart to heart with her daughter. Laverne makes no more appearances after this, not even showing up at her granddaughter's graduation in the season finale.
- It is revealed that Laverne had Cate at 18, thus having Abby at 20, making her fifty years old during the course of the series (however, Cynthia Stevenson was a few years younger when portraying the role).
- Laverne was married four times, meaning that while Cassidy could be her maiden name, it is more likely that Cassidy is Grant's last name, and she never took her subsequent husbands' last names. It is likely that she did this so she would have the same last name as her daughters while they were growing up.