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What Will Happen to My Pet in the Divorce?

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, pet custody is an increasingly common battle front in divorce. It only makes sense, considering the roughly 50 percent divorce rate in the U.S., and the report that about 62 percent of U.S. families have a pet. And very often, those pets become part of the family. If you are thinking about getting a prenup, this could be a good place to address such matters as pet custody. If you are married, a postnuptial agreement could do the job. If you are divorcing, then there are several factors that can go into who gets to keep a beloved pet. This includes:

  • Who owns the pet? If either of you brought the pet into the marriage, then the answer is pretty straightforward.
  • Who feeds and walks the pet, takes them to the veterinarian, etc.? You can use signed receipts, signed statements from your vet, etc. to back this claim up.
  • Who has physical custody of the children? The pet often stays with the children. So if both parents have physical custody, then there can be joint pet custody too.
  • Who has the better lifestyle for caring for a pet? If you can demonstrate that your soon-to-be ex travels a lot from work, and frequently gets home very late, etc., you may be able to show that your lifestyle is more appropriate for taking care of your pet.

As in any hotly contested part of a divorce, it is possible for one spouse to use unfair strategies against the other, such as using the pet has a hostage to get what they want from the divorce. Or perhaps your divorce is particularly complex, and pet custody is only one part of that. No matter the difficulties you face in a divorce, you deserve to have an experienced legal advocate on your side. At the Meyers Law Group, P.C., you can find the Long Island divorce lawyer who has the skill and commitment that could mean all the difference for your future. Learn how we are qualified to help you when you give us a call today!