Much is written and about child custody battles following a divorce but very little is known or understood about who gets custody of pets. So whether it’s your prize Pomeranian or a common tabby cat, what is the likely outcome in your case?
For many couples the most important consideration following a divorce is who gets the dog. This is understandable when people usually devote a lot of love and care to their four-legged friends – an investment they are not prepared to give up so easily.
So it often comes as a surprise that pets are treated the same way as an inanimate object such as a car. Battle lines are often drawn when there is a dispute over who should gain possession and the outcome is then decided in court.
Cases can be complicated when it comes to deciding which party deserves to gain custody of a pet. Merely purchasing the pet might not be enough to give that person custody if a spouse is the one who spent most time caring for it.
While cases are not going to be judged anything like as strictly as in child custody cases, the welfare of an animal will be taken into account.
With co-habiting couples, a case may be decided on the basis of ownership alone, so it’s important to keep hold of receipts that prove who owns the animal.