Do you know how pet custody is decided?
Until recently, courts treated pets just like they did a sofa – in other words, simply property to be divided. Now, though, a shift in the way our companions are viewed means pet custody has become a much more complicated issue.
Along with child custody, many divorce cases now are seeing arguments over pet custody, and courts are giving plenty of thought to the issue. What factors into who get custody of your pets?
- Who takes care of daily needs? Are you the one taking the dog on daily walks, giving baths, etc.? If so your chances of winning a pet custody case just improved.
- Who watches out for the pet’s mental well-being? This could be anything from play time and providing stimulation to caged animals to taking social animals like dogs out to interact with others, and typically includes training as well.
- Who has the ability to support the pet’s needs financially? Can you afford any medications, veterinary bills or special care that may be required?
- Who has adequate living space for the pet? Especially in the case of large dogs, does one person have a house with a yard as opposed to an apartment?
Much as in child custody battles, the ultimate goal should be to do what’s best for the pet. While our personal feelings are certainly powerful factors in the decisions we make, an understanding that the pet’s needs comes first will help to smooth any custody debates.