Pet Custody Lawyer
While many people consider their pets part of the family, Georgia laws view pets as property. Therefore, the ownership of a pet during divorce proceedings could be subject to Georgia property division laws. As a result, pet custody cases can be emotional and vehemently disputed.
The Lawrenceville pet custody lawyer at Crystal Wright Law is an experienced family law attorney. When the custody of a pet is disputed, it can result in a litigated divorce action instead of an uncontested divorce. Therefore, you need to be prepared for a fight if your ex-partner decides to challenge the custody of a pet.
We understand that your pets are not pieces of property to you. After a divorce, you and your family members treasure your pets and want to continue seeing your dog, cat, or other pet.
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How Our Lawrenceville Family Law Lawyers Can Help You With Disputes Regarding Pet Custody
Custody disputes involving pets can become just as contentious as child custody and other divorce issues. As a pet owner, you do not want to see your pet used as leverage during a divorce proceeding. Neither does our legal team at Crystal Wright Law.
For that reason, when you hire our Lawrenceville family law lawyers, you can expect us to:
- Provide sound legal advice and guidance regarding pet custody issues
- Treat pet custody matters with respect and concern
- Work with you to negotiate a shared custody agreement and pet visitation schedules, if possible
- Fight for full custody of your pet if you desire
We understand you are concerned and frightened that you could lose your pet in a divorce action. Call our Lawrenceville, Georgia law office today to schedule your free consultation. Let’s work together to keep your pet with you after a divorce.
How Do Georgia Courts Decide Pet Custody Matters?
Because your pet is considered property, the court considers property division laws when deciding how to resolve custody of a pet.
Georgia is not a community property state. Courts award marital property based on the theory of equitable distribution. Equitable means fair, but it does not necessarily mean equal.
However, other factors could affect a pet custody decision in addition to equitable distribution laws.
For example, when and how the pet was acquired can make a difference. If you had a pet dog before you were married or inherited the pet or it was a gift during the marriage, the pet is likely considered separate property. Separate property is not subject to property division laws.
The court may also consider special circumstances when deciding pet custody cases.
Other factors that could impact which spouse receives custody of the pet include:
- Is the pet a companion animal for one spouse?
- Which spouse had a closer bond with the pet?
- Which spouse was most responsible for the care of the pet?
- Does the pet “belong” to a child that will be primarily residing with one parent?
- Was one of the spouses abusive or neglectful of the pet?
- Which spouse has the time and funds to care for the pet?
- What other property will each spouse receive from the divorce?
Our Lawrenceville family law attorney can help you gather documentation and evidence supporting your claim for full pet custody. However, you may also want to consider a shared or joint pet custody arrangement.
Joint or Shared Pet Custody in Lawrenceville, GA
Some couples can agree to share their pet after a divorce. For example, the pet may stay with one person for a specific time and then move to the other person’s home. However, sharing pet custody or agreeing to pet visitation could create problems.
Parents have trouble handling joint child custody arrangements. Joint pet custody can be just as challenging.
For example, what happens when one spouse refuses to pay their portion of the vet bills? What do you do if the pet needs to be put down, but the other spouse disagrees and threatens to go to court to stop the action? Parties may disagree over training, feeding, housing, and other matters related to the pet.
Therefore, joint pet custody may not be the best option because it can create hostility and ongoing problems. However, if both parties want to spend time with the pet, they may want to consider dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to work out a shared pet custody agreement.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Lawrenceville Pet Custody Lawyers
Regardless of whether your pet is a companion animal or a regular pet, you deserve to have continued access to your pet after a divorce. At Crystal Wright Law, we work diligently to achieve your desired outcome for a pet custody case.
Please reach out to our office online or by phone to schedule your free consultation with our Lawrenceville pet custody attorney.