As a general rule, when you think about divorce and custody battles, you think about children, right? Well, custody battles don't necessarily have to involve children. In fact, it is becoming more and more common for custody battles to involve pets. Many couples decide not to have children. To fill that void, they have a pet instead. To them, their pet is their child. In most jurisdictions, pets are considered property. However, because of the significant relationship that people have with their pets, many states are beginning to recognize the important relationship between people and their pets. Therefore, custody arrangements are being entertained. Here is what you need to know if you are about to battle your ex for custody of your pet:
It Often Matters Who Bought the Pet…
Due to the fact that the law often dictates that pets are property, the individual that purchased the pet typically has the upper leg when it comes to custody. It is important to realize that this also goes beyond just the initial purchase cost. It also takes into account food, medical expenses, etc. If you did not pay for the pet initially, then you should expect to reimburse your ex-spouse for all costs if you are awarded custody.
…And Who Typically Cares for It.
If you did not purchase the pet, then you should expect to inform the court about the care of the pet. If you are the one who typically provides care for the pet, let the court know. It is very similar to a child custody case. The court wants to ensure that the pet is going to be given the best possible care. If you have evidence that you take the pet to its vet appointments, walk the pet, spend time with the pet, etc., it could work in your favor.
Consider Shared Custody.
While it may not be what you want, shared custody may be the best option for your pet. Your pet loves both of you, and both of you love your pet. In the end, it may truly be the best way for you to ensure you get to spend time with your best friend. Otherwise, you may end up with never seeing him or her again.
Pet custody is a complex matter, so talk to a divorce attorney about your individual situation and discuss all possible strategies and outcomes. If possible, try to resolve the custody situation without going to court to minimize stress on yourself and everyone involved. If you must go to court, make sure that you are fully prepared. To learn more, visit a website like http://WWW.TML-LAW.com