Determining Pet Custody in Divorce

IMG_1714A tricky part of divorce can be who gets the cat or dog. This is not about a race horse whose value may be counted as an asset. Millions of dollars in assets have been divided, yet couples nearly came to blows over  pet custody, according to my divorce attorney. She stated this emotional issue has slowed down divorce proceedings in some of her cases. Couples in hectic careers may have put off having children or decided not to have any at all. Particularly in these instances, animals can have a more central role in the couple’s lives. Here are some ways that realistically help decide pet custody.

Is one spouse going to stay in the family house that has the dog run and the other moving to a small apartment? Does your dog or cat have animal buddies in the neighbourhood? Maybe one spouse is moving abroad after the divorce which makes it more challenging to transport family pets. Try to look at this situation from what would be the pet’s point of view to see what is really in their best interest. Usually whatever pet a person brought into the marriage, goes to them in divorce (like with personal possessions).

The collaborative attorneys determine who the primary caretaker is – who goes to the vet’s, buys food and supplies and generally spends the most time with the pets. If one parent is getting physical custody of the little humans, then the pets may be awarded to them also. The court may look at life styles in determining pet custody. When one spouse travels nearly half of the month for a job or has very long commutes, and the other one works from home, then this is a factor for who gets the dog.  Flexibility and creativity are useful tools for working out this dilemma.   Please read more: