Custody of pets may factor into Pennsylvania divorce

Regardless of the length of the marriage or the value of the assets involved, there is bound to be some contention when it comes to making decisions as a divorce looms. Many Pennsylvania couples may agree on the fate of most valuables or assets during a divorce, but it certainly isn’t uncommon for a few assets to cause conflict. When it comes to pets and custody of beloved animals, Pennsylvania couples may be surprised to learn pets are considered property, even if the pet owners view them as much more.

There is a noted rise of conflict related to the fate of pets during a divorce. Because it is a more common problem than it was in the past, some judges are approaching the problem differently than they do when it comes to other property division matters. Some courts even weigh joint custody options and trying to determine the best interest of the pet, much like a family court judge would weigh the best interest of a child.

Anyone pursuing custody of the family pet may want to ask themselves a few questions before debating the fate of a pet in court. A potential pet custody agreement should consider the living arrangements of each party, such as room to run and if that party has the time to devote to a full-time pet. Children who love the pet may want the pet where they are primarily.

Just as with child custody, there may be long term needs and costs to consider. As with any decisions Pennsylvania couples need to make during divorce, the fate of pets can be complicated and not so easy to determine. The more the parties can agree upon before family court involvement, the more amicable and smooth the entire divorce process may be.

Source: Huffington Post, Who Gets the Family Dog After Divorce?, Nancy Kay, Nov. 10, 2013