Any person who has a dog, cat or other pet knows just how special these animals can become and the large role a pet can play in their lives. More and more, pets are considered and treated as essential members of the family, not as pieces of property. One of the times this comes into play significantly is when a married couple gets a divorce. Several couples find themselves struggling with who will keep the dog or other pet after their marriage has fallen apart.
This trend is not new. The Pew Trusts explained that study conducted some six years ago by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found a jump by 22% in the number of divorce cases in which pet custody was a significant topic.
Several factors play into a final determination of who may be granted custody of a treasured pet. These include who has historically taken on the main responsibility for the pet. Feeding, grooming, veterinary care and more may be done primarily by one spouse. Some pets display a preference for one person over the other and this may also be considered. For some families, one spouse’s schedule may allow them to be with the pet more, making it better for the pet to live with them.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give divorcing residents in Mississippi an overview of how they may approach the tough decision about who will be able to keep or see a pet after their divorce has been finalized.