Custody cases involving pets are on the rise across the country. They have become so common, there is even a book available about how to co-parent a pet with your ex, titled, “What About Wally?” (See the book here.)
Although pets are considered property in every state, and have historically been treated like possessions during divorce proceedings, the times are changing. Judges are beginning to view pets more like children in divorce settlements. Judges realize that people have strong emotional attachments to their pets. David Pisarra, coauthor of the pet parenting book, says, “There is a shifting consciousness. Pets are being given greater consideration under the law.”
Whereas couples were once embarrassed to fight for custody of a pet, these days animals are considered an important part of the family. But there is no law that recognizes visitation with an animal, so couples have to figure out how to handle the issue together.
The majority of the time, these custody battles grow out of a shared attachment for a beloved pet. But there are plenty of cases rooted in spite or retaliation. This article mentions a case where a man’s estranged wife had the family’s two dogs put to sleep, in an effort to hurt her husband.
If you have decided to go through the process of marriage dissolution in Alabama, you are facing what may be a very challenging time in your life. Put your trust in an experienced Dothan divorce lawyer. The right attorney will help you face all the life changing decisions that may be a part of your divorce, including any concerns you may have about your furry friend.