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The Things You Need To Know About Pets And Divorce

  • Broadcast in Relationships
Conversations About Divorce

Conversations About Divorce


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Pets are an integral part of daily life for many families. They're often seen and treated as family members. So when it comes to divorce, deciding what happens to the pets can be every bit as contentious as deciding how to co-parent together.

While couples may want to create a plan for sharing, in the vast majority of places in the U.S. the law still treats pets as property. That means if you can't come to your own agreement, then a judge will decide what happens to the pets following the same rules that apply to other property such as a car, a lawn mower or artwork.

This becomes an even harder challenge when there are children involved who see the pets as theirs and want the pets to follow the same co-parenting schedule as them, moving between two homes.

And, of course, because this is divorce, there's fear and hurt feelings and pets do get used as leverage in negotiations, manipulation, and power and control.

Ugh. So what do you need to know so you can craft the agreement that a judge can't?

Joining Mandy for this Conversation is attorney Jessica Leischner from the Washington D.C. law firm of Wade, Grimes, Friedman. Meinken and Leischner. Visit their website to download their free divorce guides covering topics such as mediation, collaborative divorce and divorce for members of the military.

You'll find a synopsis of this Conversation at Mandy's blog, Since My Divorce.