How to Get Pet Custody After a Breakup?

by Rhon A.

How to Get Pet Custody After a Breakup, Pet Custody

Learn About the Laws for Getting Custody on Pets

Pets are human’s true friends. Whether one is happy, sad, lonely or scared, their pet stays with them with reassurance. Many times a couple can connect over common interest like pets. When they live together, they might have adopted pets and raise them happily.

But in unforeseen circumstances, if the couple split, there can be a major question of who will the pet be with. When both the partner loves the pet equally, who gets the animal is a serious question. In the United States of America, the laws understand the pure bond that a human share with the pet and the court decide who will own the pet based on circumstantial evidence. Pet Custody can be settled outside the court amicably too. The quick ways to get Pet Custody are:

  • Talk to an animal law attorney:
    If two people have loved each other, surely they would have understood each other’s moods and methods. Hence if the former partner is impulsive, abusive or reactive, it is not easy to talk to them and get the Pet custody. Rather one has to approach an animal law attorney immediately and check with the available options. In case if the previous partner is capable of physically assaulting the pet due to anger issues, one can even seek help from a domestic violence shelter to rescue the pet and file a restraining order against the abusive ex.
How to Get Pet Custody After a Breakup
  • Fix a private meeting and request
    Sometimes, a couple can mutually decide to separate they can meet in private and discuss what to do with their pet. They can choose a private place to talk where-in their privacy is intact. Polite civil talks always help over arrogant behavior. Instead of fighting over the phone one can express their point of view clearly citing examples and request the former partner to give the custody of the pet.
  • Do not try to possess the pet
    Possession of a pet by force is never the same as obtaining the absolute custody of the pet. After a breakup, if the pet is forcefully retained by one party, one can file a petition in the court for custody. The custody-related court case will be scheduled and hearing date notice will be issued to the former partner. During the trial, both parties can present their concerns, submit the required evidence and proofs (adoption card, medical records of the pet, etc.) and claim the ownership of the pet.
  • Sign a written agreement
    A written agreement is important to get Pet Custody when a relationship breaks. Many times this written agreement is enough as the pets are treated as tangible property and judges will consider written agreement as evidence and honor the agreement by rewarding the pet to the rightful owner.

Pet Custody
  • Pet as separate property
    If the pet custody case is getting complex, the judges can evaluate based on factors like whether the pet was considered as community property or separate property. When a pet was acquired by the couple during the relationship, the judge has to check the following parameters before passing the judgment, namely:
  • Who cares for the pet?
  • Who manages the feeding and grooming of the pet?
  • Who takes the pet for Vet check-ups?
  • Who is the earning member of the two?
  • Has the other partner neglected or denied his/her duties towards the pet?
  • Are any children involved in pet custody? ( if children are involved, most of the time, the pet goes to the owner with whom the child lives)

There are cases in Texas where the judge had created a visitation rule for the guardian to visit the pets. If the pet cannot be shared, the court can suggest a pay-off option to one of the partners as well. In short, pet custody is similar to child custody cases and one cannot rush to solve such disputes quickly.