What About the “Other” Members of Your Family?: Pet Custody

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 by Hofheimer Family Law

It is a given that determining the best interests of a child and coming to a fair and reasonable Virginia child custody arrangement is the top of the list of priorities for many divorcing couples.

While there are many rules laid out for couples that are faced with determining the custody of their children, there exists a less concrete approach to determining custody of the non-human “children” in a household: the family pets.

For many people, pets are considered part of the family. Therefore, when going through a Virginia divorce, it can be difficult to decide who will get “custody” of the pet. Though most courts consider pets to be “property,” more and more courts find that they have to deal with pet custody during the course of the divorce process.

When going through a divorce, you should let your Virginia Beach divorce lawyer know right away how important your pets are to you. Your Virginia Beach divorce lawyer can gather evidence or make the argument that you should be given custody of your pets in the divorce settlement.

If the pet was yours before the marriage, it is more than likely that you will be awarded ownership of the pet. If the pet was acquired during the marriage, the primary caretaker may be given custody as part of the divorce settlement.

When children are involved, the court may allow the custodial parent to keep the pets so they are not split up
. As this can have an impact on a child’s emotional well-being, be sure to discuss this factor with your Virginia Beach divorce lawyer.

In some cases, you may be able to work out a visitation schedule between you and your soon-to-be ex-husband. This way you can both enjoy time with Fido and Fluffy.

Contacting a Virginia Beach Divorce Lawyer

At Hofheimer Family Law Firm, we understand that the health and happiness of your children is your #1 concern. We will work with you to address any fears and anxieties you may have about your children’s future. Our women’s-only divorce attorneys will guide you every step of the way to advocate that you achieve the best possible child custody and child support arrangements for you and your children.

To learn more about your Virginia divorce, request a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.