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Who Gets the Pet During Divorce?

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Authored by Thea Tan in Divorce, Pets
Published on 01-12-2009

Pets can also come into picture in the process of a divorce. Some people tend to care about their animals so much that they don’t like their pets being referred to in the same way as their material properties. In fact, either party may seek for custody of what used to be conjugal pets.

Like children, pets may be used by some as leverage. The key is to know why the other party wants to gain ownership. For your part, you need to prove in court that you want and that you need the pet more than the other does. One may want to get the pet just to hurt the other. The court usually gives the pet to the party who proves to be more passionate about and more emotionally attached to the pet. It is custody of children and pets that can make a divorce more messy and painful.

The party who gets ownership of the house and the yard is more likely to get the pet. This is because pets tend to have a secure attachment to the homes they have always been familiar with. At times, the court will look for records that show who owned the pet first. Even if turns out that you gave it to your ex-spouse as a gift, you still owned the pet first and may therefore get custody. Attachment matters little, if at all. Pet sharing is not allowed since this may just cause confusion and therefore result to insecurity and aggressive behavior of the pet.

The wife is the one who usually gains custody over the house, the kids, and even the pets. Children most definitely need the house and the pets need the children; hence, they usually go together.

If the judge deems that the pet’s welfare is irrelevant, it would be best if you and your ex talk about the issue yourselves.

Some people who try to rebuild a new life also consider getting a new pet. It may be hard to replace an original pet with a new one but the decision will most definitely help you deal with the whole divorce process.

Going to animal shelters will be a good way to help you find a new pet as they house rejected and abandoned animals. You may also be able to bond with them more easily because you can somehow understand what they have gone through. They may just be the pets that you are looking for.

You can start new lives together.

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