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Who will get the pet after a divorce?

If you are like most people, when it comes to their pet, they consider them a part of the family. Pets can be wonderful because for the most part, they never get mad at you and they are forever devoted to you. During a divorce, a pet may be there to comfort you when times are stressful. But what happens when the divorce is finalized? Who gets the pet?

The issue surrounding the custody of the pet can be just as contentious as it would be with the kids. If you are wondering how the issue of pet custody is handled in a divorce, here is what you should know.

Your pet is an asset

During a divorce, pets are considered personal property just like any other asset. You may think that is a bit cold, but it is a way to assign a dollar amount to the pet and use that amount when dividing up property. Many times, due to such strong emotional ties with the pet, an agreement may be reached through mediation. If an agreement on who should get the paid cannot be reached, it may be left up to a judge to decide. If one spouse purchased the pet and brought the pet into the marriage, the judge could use this reasoning for that spouse to get the pet.

What is best for the pet?

When a divorce happens, it has the unique ability to change peopleâ€TMs daily lives. You could decide to rent a small apartment, your ex-spouse gets a new job or maybe things are easier living with relatives an hour away. How would new living and job arrangements effect the pet? As much as you want to be with the pet every day, this should be a time to ask yourself what is best for the pet. Another consideration, pets enjoy their stability and donâ€TMt like moving around. Constantly moving a pet from one place to another may make your pet feel uneasy.

The bottom line

Divorce is usually not an easy process to go through, including for your pet. If you and your spouse are going to make a big deal on who gets full-time custody of the pet, it can make the divorce even tougher. Unfortunately, there is not a law in New Jersey that offers pet custody.

Because pet custody has become such an important issue with so many divorcing couples, the laws concerning pets and divorce could be changing soon. But for now, it is up to you to decide how hard you want to pursue the battle for your pet during your divorce.

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