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How do courts decide pet custody?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Complex Property Division, Divorce, Property Division |

Property division during divorce is often complex. Spouses with intermingled finances experience difficulty determining the difference between shared and separate assets. They may also have trouble deciding who gets how much of each shared asset.

If you shared pets with your ex, the process is even more challenging. According to Kiplinger, many courts consider pets as property, but many others have updated the way they approach pet custody. However, you can make the process less stressful for all involved by doing the following.

Decide what type of arrangement works best for you

While challenging, shared custody of pets ensures the satisfaction of you, your ex, and your pet. In this case, you must decide how to share custody of your dog or cat. Consider things like your work obligations, living situations, and how far you and your ex are from each other. If you are close, you can do weekly or even daily exchanges. If you are far apart, you can do monthly exchanges, or one person can have the pet for half the year, while the other party gets them off the other half.

Put the agreement in writing

Once you make a decision, put it in writing. Much like a parenting plan, agreements submitted to the court are legally binding. That means you and your ex-spouse must follow them or possibly face penalties.

Select a conflict resolution method

Conflicts are bound to arise, but having a method in place before can reduce lots of stress and worry. You might insist on mediation to settle disputes. If you prefer something less formal, name an impartial third party you both know to handle the matter.

Divorce is painful, especially when a beloved pet is in the middle of things. Do your best to work with your former spouse, so you can both enjoy a relationship with a pet that brings so much joy to your life.

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