Divorce is the dissolution of the legal contract that is your marriage, but it’s so much more than that. Your divorce will significantly affect your financial and parental rights, which is huge, but there can be additional important matters at stake, such as custody of your beloved family pets. Your marriage is dissolving, but one of the last things you may want to do is leave your pets behind in the aftermath. The fact is that you can address the matter of your pets’ custody with the court, and an experienced Virginia divorce attorney can help.
Some states have moved forward with legal pet-custody concerns and have laws on the books that address the matter. In the State of Virginia, however, pets are still considered property – in the same way that a car or your furniture is. That property that you and your spouse acquire over the course of your marriage – including those pets that you acquire – is considered marital property, which must be divided equitably (or fairly under the given set of circumstances) in the event of divorce, and this system also applies to your pets.
If you and your divorcing spouse are in agreement regarding your pets, that is naturally your decision to make. If, on the other hand, you’re in disagreement and would both like to keep your pets, the court will make the determination for you by considering factors such as the following:
Our pets play an important role in our lives, including providing invaluable emotional support, which can make seeking custody of your pets in divorce that much more important.
If you are concerned about obtaining custody of your beloved pet in divorce, the compassionate Virginia divorce attorneys at Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC, understand how important the issue is to you and are committed to doing all they can to help. For more information, please contact us today.