When a marriage ends in divorce, there are many bones of contention. The spouses need to retain divorce lawyers who can ensure that each spouse’s individual rights are protected. One area of discord when spouses are splitting relates to the family pet. As most people consider pets to be part of the family, each spouse might want to retain the pet for themselves.
The Best Interests of the Pet
Legally, pets are considered property that can be valued and assigned to a specific owner. However, judges are now treating pets in the same manner as they have been dealing with child custody cases and looking into the best interests of the pet before assigning them to a specific spouse.
If one of the parents has a pit bull, a cat or another dog will probably not fare so well in that household. This could be a deal killer for that particular parent.
An Insider’s View
A divorce lawyer will be able to represent your case regarding pet custody better in court. The future custody of the pet will depend on which spouse spent more time taking care of the pet, feeding it, taking it for walks, providing it with social interaction, taking it to the vet, and financially supporting its needs. Apart from this the court will also look into which spouse can best look after the pet in the new circumstances.
If you are very fond of the family pet and want to retain its custody after the divorce, you need to ensure that your Richmond divorce lawyer is aware of this. The lawyer will then prepare the right arguments to show why the pet should reside with you. Sometimes, the two lawyers can negotiate a settlement of shared custody with the pet being taken for walks and visited by the other spouse.
The Courts Decision
While in certain cases the custody of the pet is clear, for instance, if the pet was brought to the marriage by one spouse, custody of pets acquired jointly can be a matter of dispute that courts need to resolve.