Most people consider their pets a part of their family—but what happens when divorce puts pet custody on the line? Couples often plan pet custody arrangements during their divorce proceedings. Your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer will be able to help you come up with a solution that works for everyone involved: you, your ex, your kids, and your pets.

Your Richmond Hill Divorce Lawyer and Your Pet

Your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer will probably suggest that you and your ex work out pet custody together. You’ll have a few options, but ultimately, you can either let your spouse have your pet some or all of the time, or you can keep your pet full-time. If you cannot agree with your ex on a reasonable arrangement for your pet, you and your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer might need to consider mediation or arbitration.

Pet Custody: Considerations

Naturally, you want what’s best for your four-legged family member. While you and your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer are trying to figure out your pet’s best interest, you’ll need to consider a few things:

  • Will your living arrangements accommodate your pet?
  • Where will your kids spend most of their time?
  • How attached is your pet to you (or to your ex)?
  • Do you have enough time to give your pet the attention he or she deserves?

It may hurt to admit, but if you’re moving to a small studio apartment and want to take your Great Dane, he or she might be better off in your ex’s roomy house. Additionally, if your kids are living with your ex, your pet might be better off sticking with them. Your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer will advise you to look at these considerations, and probably several others, so you can decide what’s really in your pet’s best interest.

Options for Pet Custody

Some couples choose to allow their pets to live full-time with one spouse or the other. However, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. You and your spouse might decide to trade off weeks or have set periods of visitation. If you have kids, the pets might come and go with the kids. Since you and your ex will be working out your own arrangement, you’re only limited by your own creativity.

Since pets are much more than marital property to be divided, talk to your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer if your ex won’t come to an agreement with you. Your lawyer might be able to suggest other options or help you find a solution through the use of a mediator.