When the topic of divorce comes up, one of the first things people will ask about is how you plan to set up a fair child custody arrangement. Very rarely will people inquire about how you and your spouse will decide who gets the pets after a divorce. Although this subject isn’t widely talked about, pets can be a big factor in a divorce. A bond that you’ve developed with your pet can feel like the only normal constant in your life when the rest of your world is changing. Living in a new house, a new town, setting up a different schedule, dividing friends and other relationships – these are all often unfortunate realities of a divorce. When you lose your pet as well, the divorce can seem even more devastating. Is it wise to fight to keep your pet in the event of the divorce?
Determining Who Keeps the Pets
The answer to this question varies. Sometimes, it comes down to how much you’re willing to compromise with your ex. The answer is easier when you have a clear, acknowledged bond with the animal. In an amicable situation, your ex might be able to recognize this and give you the pet. If this isn’t the case, and your ex wants to fight to keep the pet, courts generally view pets as part of the property distribution determination. While you may think of your pet as family, the law in many states still views pets as property.
Property distributions must be equitable in Connecticut and a judge should consider the totality of all of your circumstances when dividing property if you and your spouse cannot agree. For example, if one spouse gets the home or other mutually-treasured items, it may only be fair for the other spouse to get the pet. These are complex and fact-specific decisions and you should have the right attorney advocate your interests.
Be Realistic with your Agreement
When you start the divorce process, it’s easy to imagine that you and your spouse will have a positive, friendly relationship after it’s all over. This is a dangerous assumption to make as things often don’t turn out that way. Remember that when you are discussing the arrangement for your pet, a “joint custody” agreement may not work. Moving a pet back and forth between households can be incredibly stressful for your pet. Additionally, you might not actually want to engage with your ex that often, even if it just means dropping off your pet at his or her house once a week.
Reach Out to a Stamford, Connecticut Family Law and Divorce Attorney
A divorce is rarely easy or completely straightforward. When you and your spouse aren’t in agreement on key decision points, the process can be even more stressful. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant, LLC have years of experience working with divorcing couples. We have seen the toll that disagreement can take on the already fragile relationship between two divorcing spouses. We have the knowledge and dedication to work through these issues and come to a just and fair resolution for all parties involved. Call us today at 203-348-2465 or send us a note online to schedule your initial consultation. The sooner you start the conversation, the faster you can resolve the issues surrounding your divorce.