One of the most contentious parts of any divorce involves determining child custody. However, many couples also acquired a dog or cat during the marriage. Now, they have to decide who gets custody of the animal.
California recently passed new laws to give judges better guidelines on how to award pets. For many couples, this will still involve one person getting the animal, but the couple can agree to pet visitation if they want. Before pursuing this action, it is vital to consider the following factors to determine if it is right for you and your furry friend.
You will need to keep track of all pet-related costs
Pets have a lot of expenses, so if a couple will share custody of a dog, then they need to decide how they will pay for everything. Food and toys are simple to keep track of, but there are also unexpected expenses that can pop up. For example, the ex-spouses may need to ask for help when a medical emergency transpires. This can create conflict, especially if one person spends more time with the animal than the other.
You need to think about the best interest of the pet
You may want to have a furry companion around the house. However, you need to be realistic if you can adequately care for an animal, especially if you also have kids to look out for. You need to be cognizant if the pet seems unhappy at your house. Pets should remain in their normal environment. Constantly needing to move around can be stressful.
Know when to step away
Pet visitation sounds like a good idea at first, but it can be stressful. No matter how much you love the dog or cat, you need to know when it is best to step away. When you go over to your ex's house, you can give the animal a few scratches and be on your way.