Who Gets The Dog Or Cat In A Divorce?
Though it may not be a factor on the scale of child custody, loved pets can be a point of argument in asset and property division resulting from a divorce. While some dogs, cat, and other pets can be very important to the parties involved, courts can often look at pets as being no different than a dish set or microwave. Divorce attorneys in Alabama and the around the nation are reporting a rise in couples going through a divorce addressing the importance of their pets to them.
How do I keep my pet in my divorce?
One divorce attorney from Alabama’s neighboring state of Georgia describes his experience witnessing the loss of a pet during a divorce can be “more heart-wrenching than losing money and material things.” (source: aaml.org) A dog or cat is something that cannot be replaced with money, but does not have laws in place like child custody. Sometimes couples negotiate custody of pets with tangibles like cash and automobiles. When necessary, a visitation plan is drawn up.
How is pet custody decided?
Pet custody is often decided most easily by considering who the pet’s primary caretaker, for example whoever makes sure the animals are fed, kept active, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Living circumstances of each party following the divorce are considered, for example if one is going to be in a house with a yard while the other is in an apartment. While pets do not have special legal considerations in the books, many attorneys and judges understand the importance of pets and people’s love for them.
If you are going through a divorce and concerned about keeping your pet, please contact an attorney.