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Divorced: Reclaiming Pet Custody

During a messy divorce, your ex-spouse may set out to do things that intentionally cause you great distress. One of them may involve claiming ownership of the family pet they barely cared about.

Because your ex-spouse was the one who took your pet to the veterinarian first, their name was registered as the owner. In the absence of other documents countering that assertion, the court may favor them for custody purposes.

Does that mean that you will have to lose your puppy or kitten forever after you’ve divorced? Thankfully, there are still options for you to explore. Learn more about the ways you can reclaim ownership of your cat or dog following your divorce by continuing with the rest of this article.

Resolve Pet Custody Matters through Mediation

If you believe that the matter of pet custody can still be resolved without forcing anyone to do anything they don’t want, you can seek intervention from a mediator.

During mediation, a neutral third party hears the concerns of the two sides involved in a dispute. The mediator is not there to render a decision. Instead, their objective is to help you and your spouse reach some kind of compromise regarding the custody of your pet.

Throughout the process, both you and your ex-spouse can bargain about what you want. The mediator can also step in and offer suggestions that could help resolve the situation.

Mediation can be an ideal solution to your problem, but it does require you and your ex-spouse to be somewhat amicable. If that’s not the case, you have to consider doing something else to reclaim your pet’s custody.

Sue to Regain Custody of Your Pet After You’ve Divorced

You already know that your former partner won’t agree to anything during mediation so that option is off the table. To force their hand, you can file a lawsuit in civil court.

By suing for custody of your pet, you will be given the opportunity to prove that you are their rightful owner. Even if the few documents available indicate that your spouse is the owner, you can provide pieces of evidence to counter that.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund notes that you can prove ownership by presenting receipts. Present receipts proving that you have paid for just about every aspect of your pet’s care. That will help show the court that you have been your pet’s primary caretaker even if your ex-spouse is listed as their owner.

Gathering witness statements is also a good idea. Talk to neighbors or friends who can vouch for you being the primary caretaker of your pet.

Present the strongest case you can so the court is compelled to rule in your favor.

Don’t lose hope even if your pet is taken away from you after you’ve divorced. Regaining custody of your beloved companion is still possible if you try the methods detailed in this article.

Are you a Tailored Pet Services client? Have you divorced recently? Please contact us so we can update our records.



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