How Does Pet Custody Work in a Divorce?

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Pets are considered part of the family by many people. In a divorce, pet custody is often just as important as child custody. Pet custody is an often overlooked topic. When you have a pet, you want to make sure that they are well-cared for. If you are going through a divorce, the future of your pet may not be clear. Both spouses may want to continue caring for a shared pet. Sometimes however, there are disagreements over who gets to keep which pet. A skilled divorce lawyer like one from Peoples Law Group can help if you need legal advice regarding pet custody. 

How is Pet Custody Determined?

Like child custody, pet custody is an important matter for many couples going through a divorce. They want what’s best for their pet just like they would for their children. Though the process is less complex than child custody, certain factors determine how pet custody is arranged. To determine custody, a judge will hear your case and evaluate factors such as the living conditions of each spouse and which spouse has the most time to care for the pet. 

Are Pets Considered Property?

Under the law, pets are considered property. They are distributed in the same way other assets are.  If you would like to keep custody of your pet, you can make a case about why you should be the primary caregiver. Because pets are legally recognized as property, ownership of pets are typically addressed in an agreement prior to a marriage if one was made. 

What Factors Affect Pet Custody?

Some of the main factors that affect custody include who cares for the pet the most, who owned the pet prior to marriage, and whether you have children. Just because you owned a pet first does not mean you will automatically retain custody. A judge will examine your history and who has consistently cared for the pet. You need to make a compelling case that you have demonstrated proper care towards the pet that makes you deserving of custody. 

See a Top Divorce Lawyer 

When both spouses want what’s best for their pet, determining rightful pet custody can be a challenge. To learn more about how pet custody works, reach out to a lawyer and they will be glad to help. If you have questions about pet custody in a divorce, you can receive the legal advice you need from a trusted divorce lawyer.