Anyone with a pet understands that people become emotionally attached to their animals and that bond can as strong as the bond we make with human friends.
Yet, the law, for the most part sees pets as property, to be divided as the household furniture is to be divided.
That sets the stage for lose-win settlements. Judges, even those who have pets and can empathize with divorcing parties, are bound by the law. Ordering arrangements that recognize and take into account the emotional attachments of both parties could get them into trouble. So one party typically gets the pet and other doesn’t. That’s a win-lose.
Far better, for the parties, and probably the pets, to work out an arrangement without going to court. And you can be very creative!
Mandy’s guest for this Conversation is Chicago-based attorney, mediator and educator Karen Covy. Karen has handled a number of pet custody situations and shares her tips on how to avoid the win-lose option.
Karen offers a Divorce Tool Kit that includes a divorce document checklist, parenting plan provisions, budget worksheets and more. You can register for your copy at KarenCovy.com.
You can also download Mandy’s free ebook, Untangling From Your Spouse: How To Prepare For Divorce..