Who Gets the Pet in a Divorce or Breakup?

Who gets the dog in a divorceWhen a divorce or breakup occurs in your life, it often involves the separation of more than just the two of you and your household belongings. If you’ve built a life together that includes a pet that is loved by the both of you, it may be a little more complicated. So, who gets the pet custody in a divorce or breakup? Here are some things to consider before making a final decision.

Negotiate Custody

Your pet is a member of your family, so the two of you may have to treat this as a form of care just as you would with a child. If you shared the ownership of a dedicated and loyal dog, the two of you might be able to agree upon who keeps the animal full-time, while the other still gets time with him periodically, such as going to the park together or for runs on a beach or around a lake. It may take some serious negotiation skills, and perhaps even a third party to help hammer out the final details. However, you both love him, so ensure that you are both satisfied with the outcome.

Consider Your Pets Needs

Our pets grow just as fond of us as we do of them. Pulling one of you away may very well cause some anxiety in your pet, so have a plan of action ready when it comes to handling the situation. To continue with the example above, your dog may miss the regular interaction in a particular activity with your former partner. Consider all aspects of both your relationships with your dog when deciding who keeps him full time and who has “visitation.” Don’t forget that dogs do have feelings, experiencing loss in much the same manner as their owners. A breakup affects them as much the same way much as the other human parties involved.

Be Reasonable With Demands During Pet Custody

When splitting responsibilities for your pet, stay reasonable with your demands, no matter which side of the situation you may be on at the time. Don’t use your pet as a ploy against your ex, since your pet is adversely affected in a myriad of ways. Again, they are like our children, so treat them as such. Your pet may benefit from time spent with each of you. In that case, keep the demands for time with him flexible and focused on the good of all, especially for your pet.

A breakup or divorce is never fun, and it is very rarely easy. Deciding who gets the pet in a circumstance such as this may be done as long as the two of you work together for the outcome that is best for everyone involved. Creativity is a great tool to use in these situations, so keep an open mind for new ideas and an open heart to keeping your beloved pet balanced and peaceful through the process.

Did your divorce/breakup include pet custody?

A divorce or breakup is never easy and leads to anger, harsh words and intentional sabotage towards one another but never use these aggression’s against the pet. Be objective through the entire process and consider the best interest of the animal. As is often the result of children through a divorce, find a custody arrangement that would benefit all involved. Hearts are broken and emotions high so ensure the outcome benefits the entire family, including the pet. The best resolution is to have everything in writing, signed by both adults involved. Your pet’s health and happiness are on the line and deserving of what is best for its well-being.



Photo Credit:  Thinkstock


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