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What Is A Pet Custody Plan?

When you divorce and have children, you need a child custody plan. When you have pets, you might need a pet custody plan. Due to how the law differs in its treatment of children and animals though, you and your spouse are probably going to have to come together and make this kind of agreement on your own. Our marital agreement attorneys in Morris County, NJ may be able to help you with this.

What Needs to Be Established in a Pet Custody Plan?

If you want to split time with your dog or cat, then you are going to need a comprehensive pet custody plan. You and your spouse should be able to agree on things like:

Where the pet spends time: You and your spouse can figure out when your pet spends time at each person’s home. You can each take the pet a couple of days per week, make a schedule where one of you gets to hang out with your furry friend on the weekend, or make any other arrangement that works for you and won’t cause a lot of stress for your animal.

Expenses: Money can be a major sticking point in deals like this, but if you’re sharing a pet you should share expenses. You should prioritize finding a way to split costs like vet bills, doggy daycare, and food in a fair way.

What happens in case of major life changes: What happens if one of you moves out of the area? What happens if someone has a child and can no longer devote time to the pet? It’s a good idea to think about how life events can impact you both and prepare to renegotiate your pet custody plan if its in everyone’s best interest.

How Does a Court See Your Pet?

You have to work out this kind of arrangement on your own because the court does not see your pet like you do. According to the law, pets are property. They are not like kids, so a judge is not going to step in and make a pet custody plan for you. It’s up to you and your spouse.

Can a Lawyer Help With a Pet Custody Plan?

The court is unlikely to step in to help you make a pet custody plan, but your lawyer can assist you. They can help you fight for your best interests and the best interests of your pet. They can also introduce you to dispute resolution methods that could make it easier to establish a fair pet custody plan, like mediation and arbitration.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are going through a divorce, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney. An experienced family lawyer from our firm can do a lot to help you with your case. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark to schedule your consultation today.