For pet owners, deciding who gets the pets can be one of the most difficult parts of a divorce. In Arizona, pets are considered property, but it's not always easy to determine who gets to keep them. In this blog post, we'll provide some tips for pet owners going through a divorce in Arizona.
1. Consider a Pet Custody Agreement
A pet custody agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms of pet ownership and care after a divorce. This agreement can be created by both parties and signed by a judge. It can include details such as who gets custody of the pet, visitation schedules, and who is responsible for the pet's expenses. Having a pet custody agreement can help avoid conflicts and provide clarity for both parties.
2. Focus on the Pet's Best Interest
When deciding who gets the pets, it's important to focus on the pet's best interest. Consider which party can provide the best care for the pet, who has been the primary caregiver, and who has the most suitable living situation for the pet.
3. Negotiate with Your Ex-Spouse
If possible, try to negotiate with your ex-spouse about who gets the pets. This can save time and money on legal fees and can also help maintain a civil relationship between both parties. Consider offering something in return, such as giving up an asset in exchange for custody of the pet.
4. Seek Mediation
If negotiations with your ex-spouse are not successful, consider seeking mediation. A mediator can help both parties come to an agreement on who gets the pets. Mediation is often less expensive and less time-consuming than going to court.
5. Consult with a Family Law Attorney
If negotiations and mediation are not successful, it may be necessary to consult with a family law attorney. An attorney can provide legal advice and representation in court. They can also help you understand your legal rights and options regarding pet ownership in a divorce.
If you need help with your divorce, contact Singer Pistiner, PC, a family law firm in Scottsdale, AZ, for experienced legal representation.