Divorce lawyers are increasingly seeing clients who are trying to figure out who gets the dog or cat when they split up. Sometimes the couple attempts to make this decision amicably, such as through a collaborative legal process. Other times, their split is contentious, and they continue to battle over the issue. A divorce attorney in Norfolk, VA knows it is best if the couple resolves this problem without heading to court over it because not only does going to court cost more money, but it also leaves the issue completely up to a judge to decide.
In some cases, a divorcing couple can actually manage to share physical custody of a companion animal. This usually only works if they live near each other. If they have a joint child custody schedule, managing joint custody of a pet is especially convenient. They can simply transport the dog or cat with the youngsters from one home to another on the same schedule. If one parent has physical custody of children and the other has regular visitation time, the companion animal also may travel along for that visitation.
Many times, however, there is no viable shared custody or visitation solution. A divorce attorney in Norfolk, VA can set up a collaborative or mediation process during which the spouses attempt to work out the best solution for themselves and the animal in question. The facilitator of these proceedings provides objective guidance and negotiation techniques, so the two individuals become clear on various aspects of the problem.
For example, even if one spouse bought a dog and had spent the most time with it, the dog may feel more comfortable living with the other spouse for certain reasons. The first individual may be planning to take a high-powered job in a big city and live in a small apartment there, for instance. The job may require 60 or more hours a week at the office. In contrast, the other spouse will continue living in the original home with a big yard for a dog to play in and will stick with a more regular work schedule. A firm such as the W. Ware Morrison Law Group provides effective legal representation from someone dealing with disagreements about pet custody in the event of a divorce.
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