An important question for many people going through a divorce is which party will get to keep the family pet or pets. This is typically a dog, though this post could apply to many pets. As with most legal questions, the best answer is “it depends”. When trying to determine who should get the dog, the following things should be taken into consideration.
- Who can best take care of the dog? This includes feedings, exercises, veterinary appointments, grooming and/or baths, and etc. Alternatively, is there one party who can’t take care of the dog?
- Which party has the time to give the dog the attention, love, and care that it requires?
- Which party can better afford to take care of the dog?
- Are there any children involved that are attached to the dog? If so, which party will have that child?*
- Did the dog belong to one party before the marriage?
- Was the dog bonded to one party over another?
As with many situations in a divorce, it is much easier if the parties agree that one party should keep the dog. However, divorces are complicated and the parties are not always able to come to an agreement. This is why it is important to consult a local Family Law Attorney who understands how important your pet is to you, and that your pet is a part of your family.