How To Set Up A Joint Custody Agreement For Pets


You don't need kids to set up a joint custody agreement if you and your ex-spouse both consider your dog, cat, or bird a member of the family. Instead of arguing endlessly about who should get the pet, consider handling the shared responsibility like you would with a child. As long as you're staying in the same area, you can create a joint custody plan that keeps your pet happy and healthy.

Start with Living Situations

If the pet handles travel well and both parties offer the same kind of living space, then equal custody makes sense. But consider the health and well-being of the animal if one person offers a bigger yard or safer play space than the other. When divorce necessitates moving into a cramped apartment or a relative's home, work out arrangements so the person who can't host the pet at home can still visit regularly throughout the week to spend plenty of time with the animal.

Share Common Rules

Just like with kids, it's hard and confusing for a dog to get to roll all over the couch at one house and receive scoldings for the same behavior somewhere else. Write down a list of rules you can agree to share and sign the document. Consistent training and handling makes the entire process a lot easier on the pet and the humans involved.

Plan Ahead for Emergencies

While some parrots live for 80 or more years, most pets come with a much shorter lifespan. Sitting down and making the hard decisions about long-term healthcare and end-of-life issues during the divorce can prevent a lot of heartaches and headaches later. Create a plan for dealing with the costs and work of chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer so one person doesn't end up feeling left out of the loop when illness sets in.

Share the Costs

It's fair to only purchase enough food and treats for the pet to enjoy while they're spending time with you, but that doesn't mean you can get out of paying 50% of the animal's medical bills. Even when you don't get to spend 50% of your time with your dog or cat, you still have a responsibility for their health that extends into the time they spend with your ex-partner.

Not all pet custody arrangements are casual and informal. In fact, many lawyers will include the details of a shared responsibility for a pet in the rest of your divorce paperwork. Consider making it a part of the proceedings if you both feel strongly about continuing to raise your animal companion together. Your divorce lawyer can help you draft a fair agreement that keeps the pet's best interests in mind.


13 August 2015

family attorneys - what do they do?

Family attorneys are hired to help families through all sorts of things. Everything from divorce, child custody and adoption can be handled by a family attorney. If you are planning to adopt a child, you will need an attorney to help ensure that everything goes well. There are so many documents that need to filed, inspections to be performed and approvals to receive. This blog will cover all different kinds of cases and situations that a family attorney may be able to help your family with. Everything from the good to the bad will be discussed right here on my blog.