Pets are like family and, if you and your divorcing spouse share a pet, you might be wondering who will receive custody. Despite the fact that our animal companions often have a special place in our hearts, the law has not quite caught up with this sentiment. Instead, the law considers pets to be property, much like furniture, cars, or other material belongings.
However, judges are beginning to recognize the importance pets have in the lives of a family and sometimes take this into account when determining pet custody. In fact, some legislators have already begun to ponder changes in the law, requiring consideration of a pet’s best interests when awarding custody to a spouse.
Unfortunately, it will take some time before we might ever see such changes made to the law. To address this problem today, the best course of action is for you and your spouse to work out the issue of pet custody amongst yourselves and document the specifics of your agreement in a legal document. If you cannot reach an agreement, a judge might request proof of purchase or adoption of the animal in order to reach a decision.
Issues to Consider
If you and your spouse are willing to hash out a pet custody arrangement together, you might want to consider some of the following points:
- Who took on most of the responsibilities relating to the pet’s needs, such as walking, feeding, grooming, vet visits?
- Who spends more time with the pet on a regular basis?
- What kind of arrangement serves the pet’s best interests?
- Who wants custody and how close do both parties live in order to make shared custody a feasible option?
- Are children involved and do they have any attachment to the pets? If so, would it be in their best interests to keep the animals in their lives and how can this be fairly achieved?
Experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney
At Hedayati Law Group, P.C., our law firm understands the difficulties of the divorce process and the emotional toll it can take on our clients, even in the most amicable situations. We are here to help you understand the possible drawbacks or strengths of all options available to you, so you are informed on every decision. You can trust our team to handle a wide range of divorce matters, whether it be complex or straightforward.
To obtain the skilled and experienced representation you deserve, call our office today at (631) 880-6440 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.