As you move through the divorce process, you’re sure to pay attention to details like child custody, child support, property division and alimony.
However, there may be a big question on your mind: Who gets custody of your pet (or pets) after the divorce is finalized?
While some people don’t care about this, others are much more serious about gaining custody. They can’t think of anything worse than losing their pet.
Traditionally, courts have treated pets as personal property in the event of a divorce. However, this is beginning to change in many parts of the country, with advocacy groups and lawmakers arguing that the court should make decisions in the best interest of the pet, just the same as children.
If you find yourself in this position, you may soon realize that you’re negotiating with your ex-spouse just the same you would in regards to child custody. For example, courts have recently awarded shared custody and visitation in these cases. In fact, it’s not even out of the question for alimony payments to come into play.
Divorce can be challenging on many fronts, especially when it comes to matters of custody related to children and pets.
If you have a pet with your ex-spouse, you’ll need to figure out an arrangement that works during the divorce process. In mediation, for example, you can work out an agreement that allows both individuals to spend time with the pet in the future.
Knowing your legal rights will ensure that you make the best decisions on behalf of yourself and your pet.
Source: New York Times, “When Couples Divorce, Who Gets to Keep the Dog? (Or Cat.),” Christopher Mele, accessed April 11, 2018