When you go through a divorce, you need to make a lot of decisions. If you have a pet that is loved by both you and your spouse, deciding where they will live after the divorce is finalized might not be easy. Here are some things to consider when determining which household is best for a beloved pet.
Your Post-Divorce Lifestyle
One of the first things you have to think about when considering where your pet should live is whether you can honestly give them the time and attention they need to thrive. If you plan to work around the clock after your divorce and won't be around except for when you eat and sleep, that may not be fair for your animal.
Your New Living Arrangements
If you are the one who is moving out of your family home, it is important to realize that pets can have a hard time getting used to new places. Dogs in particular may begin exhibiting signs of anxiety. You might consider leaving your pet in an environment that feels like "home" to them.
If you also plan to move in with a roommate or a new romantic partner, that can be especially difficult for your pet. They will need some time to get used to the new people in your life; that may take some time.
Remember that your children are already dealing with a lot during your divorce. Your kids are already dealing with the decisions you and your spouse make, but taking the pet away from them could be very upsetting. You might want to consider letting the pet live with your kids.
Are you the one in your home who takes the dog out for walks? Do you change the cat's litter box? The answers to these questions might help you prove that your pet belongs with you, as you are the one who cares for them the most on a day to day basis.
To help your case, keep receipts of pet food you buy and veterinary bills that you have paid. These receipts help to back up your claim that you are primarily responsible for the animal and should be allowed to live with them.
Use the information laid out above to help you determine whether you or your spouse should keep your pet after your divorce. For more information, contact Blumenauer Hackworth or a similar firm.