I was reading an interesting post on CNN.com the other day aboutpet custody. Who doesn’t love their animal whether it is a dog, cat or even a hermit crab – and yes I did had one in my youth. However, when people get married or even live together for that matter, they don’t often think about who gets the pet when they break up or divorce. Should people think about entering into a contract before they commit in a relationship to pre-determine the custody and visitation of their pet? I say why not?
Executing your intentions for your animal as to who will be the residential custodian, who will pay the costs for the pet, how the visitation will be split, burial arrangements and the like can all be resolved and agreed to in a formal document signed by both parties. Remember, every state differs in its adoption of contractual pet laws so it is important to talk to an attorney with a family law expertise. It is important to also think about relocation and how the animal will be transported out of state if one person moves.
Believe it or not some people love their animals more than their significant other. So this issue can be very sensitive and heart breaking. With all of the issues to dispute in a break-up, having a pet prenup or contract regarding the custodial designation and visitation of your animal may save you time, money and most importantly, the emotional fall out over losing your animal. If you have children it can be very difficult if their beloved pet moves out of their home as well. People should think about that repercussion before rushing to refuse one party visitation or custody. The theory behind this topic is really to resolve matters before they start by being fair and reasonable. They should seek expert counsel on the drafting and the enforcement of your pet contract.
What do you think about pet custody?