If you are planning to get a divorce and have pets, there are a number of things that you will need to keep in mind. Many divorces have issues that involve disputes regarding which spouse will get certain property. Sometimes it comes down to dividing the marital property. Pets are considered property, and it can be difficult to reach a decision regarding who will get the pets when both spouses have developed a bond with the pets. A court can make a ruling on the matter if spouses cannot reach an agreement. Consider the following points if you intend to seek custody of your pets.
Pets are like family members in most families. This is why it can be considered a custody matter when both spouses want the pets. If there is more than one pet, you might want to consider determining who will get which pet. You can swap out the pets to ensure that you both retain meaningful relationships with the pets regardless of which pet goes to live with who. If there is only one pet, shared custody would mean that each spouse would get their designated time to spend with the pet at their respective residence.
Negotiate an Exchange
While both spouses may want the pets, one spouse may have other interests in the marital property that they want more than the pets. This would allow for the consideration of negotiating pet ownership. One spouse could give up their rights to the pet in exchange for another tangible possession.
Impact on Others
Pets can have a lifetime effect on humans. It is possible for other family members to get attached to a pet too. Sometimes children of parents going through a divorce may have strong bonds with pets. It is wise to consider whether it would be best to base the pet arrangements according to the child custody arrangements. If one spouse gets awarded sole custody, it makes sense to let the pets remain with that spouse and allow visitation. Divorce is difficult for children to understand and accept. Allowing the pet to remain with the children can aid in making the transition more bearable.
A divorce attorney is a good resource to use to gather supportive evidence regarding why you should have sole custody of your pets. They can also help with mediation and attempting to reach an amicable agreement with your spouse.