Will I Lose My Pet in a Divorce?

May 9, 2012

Will I Lose My Pet in a Divorce?

Divorce Lawyers in Mesa, Arizona

If you are in Mesa, Arizona or surrounding communities in Arizona and are considering divorce, have you ever wondered? Who gets the family pet in a divorce?  More than half of all marriages in Mesa and throughout Arizona end in divorce, and, aside from child custody battles, few decisions can be tougher than determining the custody of the family pet. Decisions made in a divorce when children are involved are difficult enough, but what happens when spouses split in a household with a pet(s)? Who gets custody of the “furry kids”? Pets are considered marital property, and an Arizona family court judge decides which spouse will be awarded the animal. If you are going to fight for Fido, it is important that you have an idea how Arizona Family Court views the family pet.

Animal law and pet custody is becoming more and more common, but usually the court views a family pet no different than a piece of property. In other words, deciding who gets the dog is no different than who gets the couch. It’s a little cold to think of your cherished pet as property, but that is the way that the law views most animal custody cases. Even if you consider your pet as a member of your family, judges typically do not consider the needs or best interests of the pet.  Sometimes an argument can be made for a division of custody or that one spouse is better suited to keep the pet than the other.  These arguments are best made by an experienced divorce attorney.

One of the most important things to consider when pets are involved in a potential divorce is what is in the best interest of the family pet(s). This is the most important thing to consider in any custody case. Try to put feelings aside and think about who can best care for your pet. Some judges will award custody based on the best interests of the animal, however, more than likely they will treat the pet simply like a piece of property.  Hire an experienced divorce lawyer who will fight for the best interest of the animal as well as the wishes of you as the owner.

When a pet is viewed like a piece of property, it must be awarded to the husband or the wife. In most cases, there are no custody or visitation judgements; if the spouses cannot agree on who gets the dog, it will be left up to the Arizona family court judge to decide.  As with all important issues and decisions that need to be resolved in a divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Mesa divorce attorney. Pets are a part of many American families, and you will need to make a case in order to keep your pet.  Have an experienced and aggressive Mesa divorce lawyer argue for your rights and the custody of your pet. Isn’t your family pet worth the fight?

If you have additional questions regarding divorce in Arizona, what will happen to the family pets during divorce in Arizona, or any other family law or custody issue, please contact our Arizona Family Law Office for a free consultation.  We have some of the lowest legal rates in all of Arizona, offer free initial consultations, payment plans for all, and have evening and weekend appointments.  Call (520) 306-8729 in the Tucson Area, (480) 263-1699 in the Mesa and Phoenix Area, or (623) 640-4945 in the Glendale and Peoria areas.  Our experienced family law attorneys look forward to assisting you.

Our Arizona family law attorneys and legal staff  understand as we love and care for our pets and would hate to lose custody of them as well.  We understand that pets are, in many cases, a member of the family (they’re not just “property”!).  We also know that an Arizona divorce is further complicated when both spouses will not part with this priceless “property”.  Our pet friendly and compassionate attorneys and staff look forward to assisting you.

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