Pets are considered property and as such, judges or courts may have the final say over who gets awarded a pet during divorce proceedings. If you have a pet who you love dearly, you may be wondering what factors the courts look at when deciding who gets custody or possession of a pet.
If One Party Owned the Pet Prior to the Marriage
One of the factors that the courts will look at when deciding who gets custody of a pet is whether one party owned the pet prior to the marriage. If you owned the dog or cat prior to marrying your spouse, odds are, you will be awarded the pet during a divorce.
Who Cared for and Spent Time With the Pet
Another factor that the courts look for is who cared for and spent time with the pet. For example, it can be in your favor if you went jogging every morning with your dog and took the pet for a walk every evening, and your did not spend much time with the pet or caring for the pet. Courts will take this into account, as the pet may be bonded to the person who spent more time with them.
Who May Be Financially Able to Care for the Pet
Pets are expensive. The courts want to ensure that a pet can be well-cared for and taken care of. If one party cannot afford vet bills that may arise or grooming costs, the courts are going to have a hard time awarding custody of the animal to that person. They may look at who can financially care for the pet.
Which Party Can Spend Time With the Pet
Lastly, the courts will look at who can spend time with the pet now. A pet needs love and attention. If one party is a flight attendant and flying all over the country, they may not be able to pay as much attention to the pet as someone who works a mile from work and works a traditional 40 hour a week job. Courts will look at who has time to spend with the pet and can best keep them in their current routine.
Many people view pets as their children. You do not want to have to part with your beloved pet just because you are getting a divorce. A great divorce attorney can help you seek out a fair settlement when it comes to your divorce, including coming to a custody agreement about splitting time with the pet or helping to show the courts that you are a better pet parent and should be awarded the pet. Contact a legal office, like Bray & Johnson Law Firm, to learn more.Share
5 August 2019
My name is Laura, and I am an attorney specializing in helping clients leave violent marriages. The law can help victims be safe, but many potential clients cannot afford legal services and may be afraid to pursue divorce. They may not be aware of services that have been created to keep them hidden from violent ex-partners and to help them be awarded assets in a divorce so they can provide for themselves and their families. I hope to raise awareness of these issues as well as help direct people in danger to facilities where they can receive guidance and financial assistance.