Many consider pets family members, and their custody and visitation can be contentious in a divorce.
In the past, pets were often treated as property in a divorce and awarded to one party based on financial considerations.
However, there has been a shift in recent years toward recognizing the emotional bond between pets and their owners and the importance of their well-being.
In this article, we will explore how pet custody and visitation work in divorce and discuss some important considerations for pet owners facing a divorce.
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Fur-ever Family: Understanding Pet Custody and Visitation in Divorce
How Do Pet Custody and Visitation Work in a Divorce?
Pets are typically treated as property rather than as children in a divorce.
This means that the court will not decide based on the pet’s best interests but rather on the financial considerations of the parties involved.
- Pet custody refers to which party will have the primary care and responsibility for the pet after the divorce.
- This may include decisions about the pet’s living arrangements, medical care, and training.
- Pet visitation refers to the schedule for the non-custodial party to spend time with the pet.
- This may include regular visits, vacation time, or special holidays.
It’s important to note that pet custody and visitation are not legally enforceable in most states, so it’s essential to agree with your ex-spouse and, if not possible, seek legal assistance.
Is Pet Custody and Visitation Enforceable in Arizona?
In Arizona, pet custody and visitation are not legally enforceable.
There is no specific law in Arizona that addresses pet custody and visitation in the context of divorce.
The court will treat pets as property and divide them according to the state’s property division laws.
This means that the court will not decide based on the pet’s best interests but rather on the financial considerations of the parties involved, such as who has the financial means to provide for the pet’s needs, such as veterinary care, food, etc.
Factors to Consider in Pet Custody and Visitation
When determining pet custody and visitation, it’s essential to consider the following factors:
- The living arrangements of each party: Who has the space and resources to provide the pet with a suitable living environment?
- The financial ability of each party to provide for the pet: Who has the financial means to provide for the pet’s needs, such as veterinary care and food?
- The emotional bond between the pet and each party: Who has the stronger emotional bond with the pet and can better provide for the pet’s emotional needs?
- The schedule and availability of each party: Who can provide the pet with the necessary care and attention daily?
It’s important to remember that the pet’s well-being should be the primary consideration when determining pet custody and visitation.
It’s also important to understand that you should seek legal assistance if you cannot agree with your ex-spouse.
Here at Colburn Heintze and Maletta, We Understand that Your Pets are Family, and We are Here to Help
Determining pet custody and visitation in a divorce can be a challenging process.
Still, it’s essential to consider the pet’s well-being and agree in its best interest.
When deciding, factors such as living arrangements, financial ability, emotional bond, and schedule availability should be considered.
Since pet custody is not enforceable in Arizona, we can help you and your ex-spouse agree on what is best for your family pet.
Contact our family law attorneys today at 602-825-2500, so we can assist you in making the best choice for yourself and your future.
Attorney Darin Colburn has experienced first-hand just how difficult going through a family law matter such as divorce is when his parents divorced when he was 6 years old. Twenty years later, he has devoted his entire legal career to helping those facing similar issues. Darin attended the University of Arizona and graduated Cum Laude from the Eller College of Management. Darin is an experienced trial attorney that excels in high-net-worth divorce, complex business valuations, and messy child custody disputes.
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