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Who Gets the Pets after a Divorce?

New Jersey Dog Bite Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom West New York, NJ

Who Gets the Pets after a Divorce?

Pets are an important part of the family. We grow very attached to them, and it becomes difficult to imagine life without them. This often creates a problem during a divorce. How do you decide who gets the pets?

The state of New Jersey doesn’t have any laws governing pet custody after a divorce. However, every state technically considers pets to be property, and therefore won’t grant custody to one spouse. In spite of this technical distinction as property, most judges recognize the emotional attachment people develop with their pets, and they will consider pets to be a special and unique type of property. After all, there really is no monetary compensation that can offset losing your pet in a divorce.

In New Jersey, the courts typically consider the following factors when deciding who will keep the pet:

  • Which spouse spent the most time with the pet — In most cases, the courts are likely to let the spouse who spends the most time with the pet keep it since this will make the transition easier for the animal.
  • Who has primary custody of the children — Often, pet custody will align with child custody decisions. Many children find it easier to cope with the fallout of a divorce if they have their pet by their side. As a result, keeping the pet and children together is often considered to be in the best interest of the children.
  • Which spouse cares for the pet’s basic needs — The spouse that most often cared for the pets needs such as feeding, grooming, walking (in cases of dogs), and vet visits will often receive custody of the pet.

Jeffrey M. Bloom is a family law attorney serving individuals in the West New York for more than 20 years. He understands the sensitive nature of pet custody issues, and he will help you arrive at a solution that is satisfactory for all parties involved. In some instances, Mr. Bloom may recommend a shared custody of a pet. If this type of arrangement is appropriate for you, Mr. Bloom will guide you through the process to ensure all important details are considered up-front.

If you need assistance with a divorce, please contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Bloom today to schedule your initial consultation. Mr. Bloom serves clients in West New York, and surrounding areas.

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