What Happens to Your Pets After a Divorce?

Divorce isn’t easy for anybody. It can tear apart families and leave people – especially children, emotionally traumatized. Divorce also can have an adverse effect on the animals we love and treat as part of our family. But, after the dust settles, where do they go? What happens to pets after divorce?

Pets and Divorce

According to data compiled by the ASPCA, divorce is one of the most commonly cited reasons why individuals seek to rehome their dogs. In fact, studies have shown that animals struggle just as badly as humans do during divorce proceedings. This is because they crave routine and normalcy – and divorce often strips this from them.

Are Pets Considered Property?

While most people consider a pet to be part of their family – and more than just an animal – the law recognizes them to be personal property. Where rules are in place to protect the rights of children after a divorce – including custody, visitation rights, and alimony payments – laws pertaining to family pets are geared towards protecting the rights of the owner instead of the animal itself. The Competition and Consumer Act of 2010, legally classifies animals as “goods,” capable of human ownership and control.

How is Pet Ownership Determined?

While some courts have become more lenient to the best interests of pets (mainly dogs) during divorce proceedings, generally a family court will take several pieces of information into account when determining the ownership of a pet after divorce. These include:

  • Whose name is listed as the owner of the pet on the animal’s registration?
  • Was the pet your spouse’s pet before your relationship?
  • Who performs the majority of the responsibilities required in the caring for the pet? This may include taking the pet to the vets, buying food, brushing or walking the animal, etc.
  • Which individual has the most appropriate lifestyle for the pet? This may include working hours, living accommodations and other relevant details.

Contact an Experienced New York Divorce Attorney Today

Divorce is never an easy decision. This is especially true if there are children, or even pets, involved. Pets aren’t just property; they’re part of our very hearts and souls, so looking out for their best interests should be in the best interests of all involved. Working with an experienced divorce attorney, both parties can sit down and peacefully determine what is best for all involved – including their beloved pets – including visitation, and financial care.
While filing for divorce can be a difficult decision, choosing the right attorney doesn’t have to be. Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is one of the most trusted names in New York when it comes to divorce. Brian and his experienced team are aggressive, intelligent and strategic. They work diligently with clients and customize representation strategies to fit individual needs. So if you’re looking for a divorce attorney who will fight for you, call Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. today at 718-875-7584 for your free consultation and learn why we’re New York’s premier divorce law firm.

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