Unless you have been through a divorce personally or are closely connected to someone who has, it may be hard to wrap your brain around all of the things that must be divided during the process. Properties and assets, debts and liabilities, and child-rearing responsibilities are only a few examples of the many things married couples share that must be equitably divided between them when they separate.
Our divorce attorneys in Lebanon MO have experience helping couples navigate the process of divorce so that assets, liabilities, custody, and other matters can be divided properly. This week, we want to look specifically at another important factor that must be addressed during a divorce: division of pet ownership.
Who Gets Custody Of The Pets?
Pets often become a part of the family in a way that is impossible to understand unless you have a pet yourself. People become incredibly attached to their animals. Children are also likely to develop strong emotional connections to their furry family members. In return, cats, dogs, and other pets often display signs of affection and attachment towards their owners.
Despite the powerful emotional bonds forged between families and their pets, the Court does not typically acknowledge the relational aspect of pet ownership in times of divorce. Unfortunately, the law views pets as marital property that must be divided just like anything else. Unlike child custody, which is assigned according to the children’s best interests, pet custody is often assigned according the benefit of the owners.
How To Divide Custody Of Your Pets
Though the Court may simply view pets as marital property, the team at Deputy & Mizell, LLC respects the important role your pets fill in your family. Our goal will be to help you address this challenging situation at hand so that you can find the solution that will best meet everyone’s needs. Here are a few of the factors we consider when helping families divide ownership of the pets:
The Pets’ Relationships With Their OwnersOften, pets show a particular affinity towards certain people in the family. Before deciding how to assign custody, it is nice to consider whom the pets have bonded closely with so that they can stay with those individuals.
The Children’s Relationship With The Pets
Children often develop especially close attachments to their animals. If one parent is likely to be awarded full or primary custody of the children, it may be wise to assign pet ownership so that they can stay with the children as much as possible.
The Pets’ Primary Caregiver
As any pet owner can tell you, caring for pets requires a great investment of time, energy, and money. Pets need to spend quality time with their owners, and they need a safe, enriching environment to call home. They also need food, water, toys, and occasional trips to the vet. Assigning pet custody to the individual who will be better equipped to care for these needs is often a smart move.
Deputy & Mizell LLC Is Here For You
If you are facing a divorce Lebanon, Camdenton, Tuscumbia, or surrounding areas, we hope you’ll consider our family attorneys in Mid-Missouri for the representation you need. Dividing a marital household is rarely easy, but our team will be here to simplify the process as much as possible. Click here for more information on our family law services.