Many divorcing couples fight like cats and dogs, but more and more divorcing couples are fighting over cats and dogs. Last year, one New Yorker spent $60,000 battling for custody of his dog, and he’s not the only person willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a beloved pet. Animal custody disputes during divorce have been steadily on the rise for years, according to a 2006 survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Although companion animals are included in Orders of Protection in the state of New York, in divorce cases pets are generally considered property, like television sets or lawnmowers. But how many people consider their dog, cat, ferret or cockatiel a thing? For many animal lovers, their pet is a best friend, a member of their family, even a child. Losing contact with that animal is understandably heartbreaking.
Here are a few tips, courtesy of The Animal Legal Defense Fund, if you are considering divorce and anticipate a pet custody battle:
An experienced divorce attorney can help you arrive at a mutually acceptable custody solution for children and your pet. Call the Law Offices of Mary Grace Condello in Brooklyn at (718) 758-5480 to get legal advice and guidance that will help you reach a favorable divorce settlement.