During the divorce process, people normally share property depending on how the courts would have judged. However, the sharing of pets can be difficult. For instance, it won’t be practical to sell a pet and share the money. Most people who own pets consider them family, and they will be attached to them. Fortunately, there is enough time to think about what happens to the pet. On average, it takes about six months from the time the first divorce petition is filed and served on the other spouse to when a divorce becomes final. Here are some things that are considered when dealing with pets in a divorce.
Whose Pet is it?
Sometimes people can get married and bring their own pets. In such instances, the pet will have a clear owner, and there won’t be many complications. The problem starts if the pet was obtained during the marriage and it wasn’t owned by anyone. If that’s the case, people can even involve divorce lawyers and fight for the pet in court.
Who Cares for the Pet?
If the issue ends up being debated in court, the judge will try to see who was buying food for the pet and taking care of its supplies. They might also want to know who was taking the pet to the veterinarian, cleaning up after it, and feeding it. This will be useful information when it comes to deciding who takes the pet.
If you are the one who was taking care of the pet, your divorce lawyers can even ask the vet to sign a letter acknowledging that it was you who brought the pet in for health checks. You can also have your neighbor serve as witnesses and tell the court that it was you who was regularly walking the dog and playing with it. Sometimes the court will also consider who signed the application for the dog license. If it was you, you can go and look for a copy of the license from the city clerk.
Where are the Children Going to Stay?
Some pets will have an emotional attachment to the children. In such cases, the court might decide to let the pet go with whoever is taking the children. If you are sharing time with the children, then it might be possible to share time with a pet as well.
If you want to keep the pet, talk to your divorce lawyers and get the required documentation ready.