Love My Dogs, My Husband, Not-So-Much
How Can I Keep My Pets in a Divorce?
I love my dogs, I don’t love my husband. Is there a way to keep the dogs and get rid of the husband? In a divorce, marital “property” is typically split between the spouses, but as in the case of children, custody is usually granted to one of the parents.
What about pets? What if there are no children involved in the break-up, but there are pets that have been like children for the extent of the relationship?
Avondale custody cases involving pets are becoming more common in Arizona and across the country. Ask the law, and pets are considered property in every state in the country. In a divorce proceedings, pets have been split up like cars and furniture. Ask a pet owner, and their puppy or cat is not just a mere possession, pets are a member of a family; like one of their own kids; there is a definite emotional attachment.
When a pet is held in such high esteem, quite often it is important for each of the divorcing parties to win custody of their “fury child” in a divorce. Unfortunately, much like children, pets become a point of contention between the 2 people getting divorced and are often placed into “split custody” or are being separated from another pet that they have become accustomed to living along side.
It is becoming more common that couples who are getting a divorce are choosing to seek the help of an Avondale attorney in order to reach a pet custody agreement. For pet owners, decisions regarding the best interests of the pet are often more agonizing and stressful than those that are made about financial and splitting assets. Some spouses will agree to give up on their relationship, dissolve their marriage, and be completely fine with never seeing one another again, but will not agree to give up the dog. Some exes work out shared custody, visitation, vacation and holiday schedules with the pet, and even sharing expenses (doggie support payments?) such as: daycare, food, grooming, vet bills, and other expenses.
As with children in a split, custody battles can either be driven by love or spite. As of now, there are no particular laws or statutes for pets only, (they are still treated like possessions) as there are for children in a divorce, that could give judges some guidelines in which how to rule. With the ever-increasing number of marriages ending in divorce and with pet ownership being the multi-billion dollar industry that it is, can specific laws that help decide who gets the pet in a divorce be far behind?. With more cases of pet-custody, perhaps the law will evolve to include what will happen to a pet in a divorce.
Forget the fights over who gets the crystal or vacation home, couples seeking a divorce want an experienced family law attorney to fight for them to keep the pet(s). Much like a parent would fight to be granted custody of their child, spouses are now fighting that same battle in order to get custody of the family dog.
Some celebrity couples who have split have made a public battle over their pets: Jake Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst fought for custody over their German shepherd upon their break-up. Also, Drew Barrymore argued and battled for her rights to her lab Flossie when she got a divorce from Tom Green. These are not becoming the exception as much as common place. Pet custody in a divorce is a real issue.
So you love your dog, but not your husband? Don’t count on your husband to give up the pooch without a fight. Fight for your rights and the right of your pet. Seek the assistance of a trusted family law lawyer. Don’t face a divorce or another family law issue alone as your spouse will have their own representation. Isn’t your pet worth the effort?
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