Pets and Divorce
p>Many New Jersey couples have pets that they love and treat as four-legged members of the family. When people with pets divorce, they are often surprised to learn that pets are considered property in the eyes of the law. This means that the way that pets are treated as part of the separation of property process is far different than many individuals anticipate when turning to the court for help resolving disputes. This can come as a shock to some people, especially if they want the court to assist them in developing a plan for sharing in the care of the pet going forward. Fortunately, couples are largely able to decide how they will handle dividing up the continued care and companionship of their pets as part of their New Jersey divorce settlement if they work together to create a plan that works for both parties.
If you are divorcing and you have pets, you may wonder how your divorce can accommodate the fact that your pet has physical, financial, and emotional needs. Pets do experience the upheaval of divorce right along with their humans, because they interact with people both physically and emotionally. Your pets are likely to experience feelings associated with the changes in your life, but those feelings can be at least somewhat addressed by creating a divorce settlement that provides for each former spouse to spend ample time with each of the pets. When pets can spend time with all of the humans that they have come to love, they are happiest. They are also better able to tolerate traveling back and forth between homes.
As part of the property settlement in a divorce, pet owners can create a schedule of when each party will have the pets at their home, as well as potential visitation schedules, where the pet primarily lives with one person, but spends time with the other individual. Parties also can enter into agreements on how to handle veterinary care and other expenses associated with their pets, as well as how to handle important medical decisions. As with any issue in a divorce case, the court will provide a solution to the problem of what to do about pet ownership if the parties are unable to agree about how to handle it as part of a divorce settlement and the resolution may not be satisfactory to anybody, including the pet at the heart of the dispute.
The Bronzino Law Firm: Working Out Pet Ownership Issues for Divorcing Couples
Pets are an important part of your life. If you are getting divorced in New Jersey, a knowledgeable New Jersey Family Law Attorney can help you obtain a result that will work for you, including provisions that detail the arrangements that govern which of you will have the companionship of your pets at what times. The Bronzino Law Firm, located in Brick, New Jersey, serves Ocean County, Monmouth County and the surrounding communities. To learn more about the legal options for pet ownership in divorce, please contact our office for a free initial consultation by calling (732) 812-3102.