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Pet custody concerns in a divorce

Houston couples that experience divorce must make many difficult decisions. Wrangling with the emotions common at the end of a marriage can make standard family law issues such as spousal support, child support, property division and more even more challenging. From a high asset divorce to a more simple divorce process, the need for some help is often real.

In the world of property division, many things can be included. Homes, automobiles, boats, retirement plans, pensions, savings accounts and vacation timeshares or homes are frequently some of the larger ticket items about which people must make decisions. In the world of family law, pets are also considered to be personal property unless the couple breeds animals for sale. Some of the time, a husband and wife can easily determine with whom a dog or cat should live after a divorce but at other times, this can become another area of disagreement.

In order to avoid a loved family member from becoming a pawn in a family law debate, a media article recommends that pet owners collect data to help the decision be logically made. Information about who the primary caretaker is and who is able to provide the most consistent and quality home should be documented as much as possible. Vet records, travel schedules and pet food purchase receipts can all be used in this process. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can eliminate the disagreements if the pet is included.

Family legal issues truly can affect virtually every aspect of a person’s life. Working with an attorney during a divorce can be one way of making decisions easier by getting information and assistance from someone who is not emotionally invested.

Source: Forbes, “How Are Pets Handled In Divorce?,” Jeff Landers, April 17, 2014

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