Robert W. Davis, Jr.,
Attorney at Law
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How do pets factor into a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2021 | Divorce |

The end of a marriage requires the two parties to divide marital property and extricate financial lives, a process that can be complex and frustrating. Strong emotions can make property division difficult, especially if there are family pets involved. While pets are important members of a Mississippi family, they are technically property in the eyes of the law. Deciding who will get the pets and share responsibility for them can be one of the most difficult parts of a divorce. 

 Deciding on custody and visitation 

Pets are common issue in divorce. To avoid potential problems, couples sometimes create “petnups,” which are essentially prenuptial agreements for pets. Some believe it is important to create more laws that specifically address pets as they can lead to some of the most contentious fights and disputes in a divorce. 

In some particularly contentious cases, mediation may be necessary to determine what will happen to the pet. In other cases, a couple may be able to come to an agreement regarding sharing time with the pet. It is possible that contention over pets can ultimately be harmful for the emotional needs of the animal.  

A reasonable agreement 

In a divorce that involves contention over a pet, it may be helpful to keep in mind that a reasonable negotiated agreement is often best. A Mississippi family law attorney can help a couple work through this difficult issue. When facing a complex matter in a divorce, such as pet custody, it is beneficial to carefully consider long-term implications of all choices.