How Can I Prevent my Soon-to-be Ex from Getting Custody of our Dog?

When you decide to file for divorce, the choices that you need to make can be extremely difficult.  As much as you might want to be away from your spouse, you still want your life to stay the same – and you want to keep everything that you have.  Unfortunately, that simply isn’t possible.  Only staying married will allow you to keep everything you own.

If you have children, those decisions can be the hardest to make.  Both of you will want to see your kids as much as you want and trying to split the time fairly can tear a family apart. As you are trying to work out the details, remember that you know your children the best and a schedule you design will be better than one ordered by a judge.


For some couples, their pets are more like children and who gets “custody” of those animals is as important to them as to parents of children.  Because animals can’t speak, each person believes they know what the pet wants.  Choosing who gets to keep your pets is hard, but it is not worth dragging your divorce out for years because you want to fight about Fluffy’s living arrangements in court.

Your pets feel stress, just like people do.  They can start to misbehave if their anxiety level goes up too high, just like children.  If you truly want to do what is best for your pet, work out an arrangement with your spouse.  Think about who will be home more or have more time to play with and care for the pets.

Courts simply do not have the time to decide who gets the pets in a divorce.  The law considers pets as property and will not order “pet custody” to either person.  The only way to keep your spouse from getting your pets is if you can prove they have been abusive towards the animals at some point.

The abuse charges cannot be simply your word against your spouse’s.  You need actual proof that abuse has occurred.  Pictures, videos or witnesses could help prove the abuse as could a statement from your vet about the injuries your pet sustained.  You could call your vet as an expert witness in court, if needed.

As much as you want your pets to be with you, you need to consider if you are only trying to keep them as a way to hurt your spouse or if you truly want them.  Do you want to keep dragging out your divorce for the animals or would it better for everyone for the divorce to be final so people and pets can finally begin to heal?

If you are currently involved in a divorce and require legal guidance, before you spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, check out our free 7-Day “Divorce 101” course.  Sign up below and you’ll immediately start receiving tips and guidance you can use to minimize the pain and time required to get through the divorce process.

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