You may have heard about divorced couples fighting custody battles. Some couples treasure their pets as their children and fight for them as well. Pet custody laws are becoming increasingly important with each passing day. If you have a pet, a Divorce Lawyer Ottawa can help you guide you in the right direction.
One of the most asked questions by divorced couples is, “Who gets the family dog?” Losing a pet can be heartbreaking. However, an attorney cannot tell if you will get the dog without looking at certain factors. One of the factors is whether either parent owned the pet before the marriage and if the pet custody is contested.
Utah pet custody laws
Unfortunately, pets are still treated as personal property. This can be hard for people who consider their pets part of their family. If the pet is acquired during the course of the marriage, it is treated as marital property.
Just like courts focus on the child’s best interests when making a decision, they also focus on the pet’s best interests before awarding custody. When making a decision, the court usually looks at the following factors.
- If the pet was acquired before the marriage.
- The initial owner of the pet.
- If one spouse spends more time taking care of the pet’s needs (walks, grooming, shelter, and food)
- If one spouse is more financially able to take care of the pet’s needs.
- If either spouse is able to provide better companionship to the pet.
Getting custody of your pet
In Utah, the couple has the freedom to resolve the matter themselves. You and your spouse can negotiate, come up with a plan and create an agreement to get it approved by the court. If you are unable to reach an agreement, you can take the help of attorneys. This also ensures that the other party does not take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge.
Hiring a mediator can also facilitate the process. Since mediators are neutral third parties, they hear each party’s problems. They do not take sides and try to develop a solution that works in the best interests of the pet, you, and your ex-spouse. After you have reached an agreement, you need to get it approved by the court. However, if the court believes the decision is wrong, it may reject it.
Divorcing your spouse is already a difficult time. On top of that, losing your beloved pet can be heartbreaking. Contact an attorney to make sure your friend stays with you.