Lisa L. Johnson, Attorney at Law
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What are the challenges surrounding pet visitation?

As you and other Kentucky residents are aware, life can be complicated for parents after a divorce. They often have to deal with child support, visitation schedules and conflicting parenting ideals, and they often do not get along. What if you have no children, but you and your ex-spouse have a pet you both love? Do you face the same sort of difficulties as divorced couples who have children?

As Divorce Magazine explains, pet custody issues are becoming increasingly prevalent with divorcing couples. It may come as no surprise to you that many pet owners love their dogs, cats and other animals like their own family members. Regardless of whether they have human children, many pet owners think of their pets as their children, as well. Consequently, sharing a pet after a divorce can be emotionally devastating for many reasons, including the following:

  • The courts consider pets to be personal property and do not tend to grant shared custody and visitation as they would with children.
  • Divorced spouses must often agree between themselves on sharing time with the pet.
  • One spouse may be afraid the other will take the pet and not return it.
  • Ex-spouses who share time with the pet will also need to share the costs for food, veterinary care and other expenses.

It may interest you to learn that some states are catching up in terms of considering the best interests of a pet when determining who the pet lives with. However, pet visitation and other issues may continue to be complex and difficult to navigate. The information in this blog is not meant to substitute for legal advice.

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