When you decide to seek a divorce, you may not immediately think of your pet. Suddenly, you may come to realize that you aren’t guaranteed to keep him, even though you’ve lived with your pet for several years or throughout your entire marriage. What happens then? How can you make sure your pet ends up in the right home?
According to a story out of New York, custody is one of the hardest issues in divorce, and now dogs and cats, along with other pets, are also being fought over. For instance, one couple fight for years over how they could split time with their dog, who they had raised since he was a puppy.
In their case, the dog ended up with split visitation; he spent six months in Virginia and six months in British Columbia. Why would a couple spend so much time on pets? If you think about it, pets can be just as important as children to some couples, if not more so.
Pet custody now comes up in around 50 percent of divorces, and around 10 percent end up having rough patches or disagreements because of pets involved. Twenty-seven percent of attorneys have stated that an increase in pet custody cases has taken place over the course of the last five years, and dogs were most often the pet fought over.
What happens if children are also involved? It’s most common for the pet to go to the children’s home. If that isn’t a factor, then the amount of money you bring in can sway the judge in deciding who should have custody of the pet.
Source: Philly Voice, “In divorce and custody battles, now it’s about the dog,” Aug. 12, 2015