Pets are a bona fide members of any family, and these days, the views of people have shifted to accommodate these furry companions as actual members of the family in cases of divorce. After all, many pet parents are just as loathe to part with their animal companions as they would be with a child.
But what does the law say about pets and pet custody? Is there any way for you to achieve those rights?
Pets as property
Time discusses the reality many pet owners face every divorce: dealing with pet custody. Unfortunately, the law has not kept up with changing views on pets. Though most pet owners state that they view their animal companions as children, the law still classifies pets as a form of property.
Because of this, you cannot get custody of your pet in the traditional sense of the word. They consider your pet an asset, and depending on pedigree, they could even count as a valuable one that your ex-spouse may fight for.
Working out visitation schedules
If you can work out a visitation schedule with your ex-spouse, then you can do as you wish. However, if you cannot make a decision and need the court to step in, they will count the pet as part of your assets and the pet will end up divided with your other material goods.
This is why it is crucial for pet owners to have strong understanding of the legal aspects of this situation before entering it, and why you may want to enlist some legal help before you dive fully into divorce.