Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

Pet custody often a contentious topic in a divorce

When a marriage comes to an end, there are countless issues a Texas couple or others around the nation must address. Obviously, if a couple has children, the question of custody is paramount in the deliberations. However, family law experts are beginning to see an increase in a different type of custody battle during a divorce. Couples are now becoming much more vocal about how custody of their pets will be handled.

The National Vital Statistics System report that there are over 800,000 divorce occurring each year in the country. While data is not available on how many divorcing couples have pets, a recent survey indicated that 68 percent of households have a pet. Attorneys are reporting that the issue of pet custody is coming up more frequently in divorce cases. Typically, neither spouse wants to give up spending time with a pet. Therefore, joint custody arrangements are developed.

Some states are introducing legislation to address pet ownership following a divorce. In several instances, the process is handled very similarly to that of child custody cases. Still other jurisdictions treat a pet as community property and the pet must be shared between the ex-spouses. Stipulations may also be made for the pet's veterinarian bills or boarding during vacation. If someone has a pet prior to the marriage, it may be best to stipulate ownership in a prenuptial agreement to avoid custody questions in a divorce.

Pets often feel just like part of the family and it would be traumatic to be unable to spend time with that pet following a divorce. To address the issue of pet custody and any other issue in a divorce, it is imperative to seek the guidance of a respected Texas attorney. An experienced lawyer will address every issue on a client's behalf and work toward achieving the best possible outcome in the divorce proceedings.

Source: moneyish.com, "You won't believe how people battle over their dogs in a divorce", Elisa Wolfson, Feb. 24, 2018

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At Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, we have received a variety of honors and awards for our family law services. Members of our team have been listed as Top Lawyers in San Antonio Scene magazine. We take pride in the number of positive reviews we have received from satisfied clients. On AVVO, a lawyer rating website, we have received an 8.9 rating overall and many positive ratings from clients and colleagues.

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Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
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San Antonio, TX 78205

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