Though it may be difficult to accept, you and your spouse may no longer wish to remain married. If you own a pet, you may be wondering how to decide who will keep that pet when you are divorced. While it might seem outlandish to non-pet-owners to use an attorney to negotiate pet custody, there are nearly 80 million pet dogs and about 85 million pet cats in the US, and families increasingly regard their pets a member of the family. While these animals were once valued for their ability to work and protect the home, they are now seen as companions and therefore can offer a tremendous emotional boost in the aftermath of a divorce.
Consider the following pet statistics:
- Americans spend $50 billion a year on their pets, which is more than they spend on movies, video games, and music combined
- About half of pet owners give their animals “human” names like Elliot and Isabelle instead of Spot and Whiskers
- About a third of pet owners let their pets sleep in a human bed
- More than 40% of pet owners have taken their pets on vacation
- Roughly one-fifth of pet owners have brought their pet to work
The connection you feel to your pet is legitimate, and the end of your marriage or domestic partnership should not have to mean that you do not see your pet any more. In divorce proceedings, pets are regarded as property to be dealt with in the division of assets. To ensure that your interests are protected, it is important to make specific arrangements for pet custody. For legal representation and counsel, contact an Oceanside custody lawyer of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, by calling 760-722-7646 today.