There is one subject that has grown in popularity in divorce courts around the country. California, in particular, has seen more couples trying to decide who gets custody of any pets spouses share.
In a marriage, a couple may have adopted a dog or cat together. Now that they will separate, they each want to keep the pet. It may not be practical to split custody of the pet. This will undoubtedly be stressful for the animal to constantly switch environments. Here is what you need to know about pet custody in divorce.
How the court views animals
Although you may treat your dog like a human, a judge will view a pet as property. This means the court will award the animal to one of the spouses, similarly to furniture or cars. A judge may not care who the primary caregiver of the pet was, so it often works in the couple’s best interest to determine pet custody on their own.
Factors to consider
You may want to keep your furry friend, but you need to be realistic. Figure out who most often takes care of the pet. If you have a busy job and cannot feed the pet several times a day, then you may not be capable of caring for an animal at this time. You also need to see if the dog favors one person over the other.
Think about the kids
You may love having a pet, but your kids probably love having one more. In the event one spouse gets the kids more time than the other parent, then it may be best for pets to stay with the parent with primary custody. With this arrangement, the dog or cat may be able to come visit once in a while. Ultimately, you need to think about your pet’s well-being.