When couples divorce, everything gets split up. That also means that any pets have to be placed somewhere too. If you want to fight for custody of your pets, our Sparta property distribution attorneys can answer your questions and help you negotiate a pet custody deal that is in the best interest of your furry friends.
Is a Pet Considered Marital Property?
In most cases, the court considers a pet to be property. That might sound ridiculous to all of the animal lovers out there, but that is just how things are for now. Laws have changed in some states though, so it is beneficial to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side who can tell you about any changes to rules and regulations about pets and divorce.
So if a pet can be considered property, that means it can be considered marital property. If you and your spouse adopted or bought a pet together, it is going to be looked at just like a car or house that you purchased together. So the court can decide that it is fair for one spouse to get the pet when the rest of the marital property is distributed.
How Do You Negotiate Pet Custody?
If you do not want the court to arbitrarily decide who gets the pets during the property division process, you can try to negotiate pet custody through mediation. You can argue that you have the best home for the pet or that you were the one who was primarily responsible for its care. If you can show that you were the primary caregiver for a pet that you both owned, that can make it easier for you to get custody.
Can I Get Visitation Rights for My Dog or Cat?
Maybe you can admit that you are not the primary pet parent or that your former spouse, for now at least, can provide a better home for your pet. What you can try to do through the mediation process is negotiate for visitation time.
Now, there is no legal right to this. This is not a human child we are talking about here. However, maybe your spouse understands that you and this animal also have an important bond, and they do not want to deprive you of time together. Maybe you can carve out weekends where you can take the pet for long walks or trips to the park.
The courts are unlikely to try and make this agreement for you though. So you are going to have to negotiate with your spouse directly, or at least through your lawyers.
Contact Our Firm If You Have More Pet Custody Questions
If you are ready to fight for the best possible outcome and fair property distribution in your divorce, you should have an experienced lawyer by your side. Contact Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC and schedule an initial consultation. This is the chance to learn more about what our legal team can do to assist you.