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Quick Takes for Your Practice: New Divorce Issues Related to Pets

Attorney Angela Peters discusses the treatment of pets in divorce cases.

Posted on June 12, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
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Member Comments (1)

I was dismayed to see that the standard for allocating pet "custody" is the well-being of the pet, not the well-being of the family.  There are times when an abuser brings a pit bull into a family to terrorize them, but under this standard if the abuser has no yard and the other parent and children do, then they would be stuck with having to care for this dog under the standard of the well-being of the pet.  I hope that's a rare case, but I've seen it.

I  want the legislature to make a technical correction and just change the standard to the well-being of the family, so that ALL the factors can be used, not just the pet's own well-being.  I want the pet to live with the part of the family that loves it the most, and I want support for that pet, and I want the rest of the family to get to visit the pet and be the sitter(s) for the pet during vacations and extended trips, unless they are clearly bad for the pet, kind of like parenting time.  Fortunately, I've seen that, too, even before this law!