8 Step Guide to Winning Custody of Your Pets
- Step 1
You must understand that your pet may seem like a family member. To a court it is just another possession to be divided at divorce.
- Step 2
Be aware that if the animal was yours before the marriage or if you have been the primary carer of the animal during the marriage, you are more likely to be awarded possession.
- Step 3
Do tell your lawyer how important your pet is to you and make sure he or she treats this as a priority.
- Step 4
Do realise that if you have children, it makes the most sense for the pet to live where the children will live, since they have probably formed an attachment.
- Step 5
Do try and talk to your spouse about the pet and see if you can work something out. You might be able to make a mutually acceptable visitation arrangement.
- Step 6
Do avoid separating pets if you have two or more of the same species. This could cause depression or anxiety for the animals which nobody wants.
- Step 7
Do recognise that if you have a valuable pet, such as a show horse, show dog or show cat, the animal will be carefully considered by the court as a valuable asset – and as a business if you show the animal and/or collect stud fees.
- Step 8
Do show the court that you are the person best able to care for the animal – you have the time to play with it, exercise it and groom it. Do show that you have space in your home for the animal. If necessary, have your vet testify about your ability to care for the animal.