When couples part ways, the fate of their pet looms large. For many people, a dog is much more than a simple pet; they are a member of the family.
A variety of factors determine who retains custody of a jointly owned pup.
Suitability of living environments
One of the most important considerations is where each person will live. Courts weigh the stability and appropriateness of each home, including whether there is adequate space for the fur baby to run around. The house with a backyard is likely better for any tail-wagger.
Relationships with each spouse
Another factor is which owner enjoys the strongest bond with the dog. The hound in question may have a natural attachment to one person over the other. A judge may further consider who can claim primary responsibility for the pet during the marriage. The goal is for Fido to continue receiving superior care and attention.
Children and canine custody
The emotional bond between dogs and kids is also relevant. Divorce courts recognize how important animals are to childhood stability and emotional support for tykes. One study shows that children from homes with dogs are between 30% and 40% less likely to have social problems. Thus, it might make sense for the dog to live with the parent who gets child custody.
Mediation as a solution
Couples may prefer mediation to court. A collaborative approach allows both sides to discuss their preferences and concerns. By working together, a solution that aligns with the interests of everyone, including the dog, becomes possible. In some cases, joint custody is the optimal outcome.
As husbands and wives navigate dissolving a marriage, the issue of where their four-legged friend will end up remains a sensitive topic. A thought-out resolution helps ensure that their dog enjoys good health and happiness far into the future.