This is a common question that we address in divorce mediation at Westfield Mediation, LLC.
It used to be that pets were considered property that could be allocated to one divorcing partner or another, like a sofa, or the dining room table. Nowadays, in many states, the standard for sharing pets has changed to the best interest of the animal – mirroring the child custody rule.
As a result, our divorce mediation agreements may include shared pet custody plans with set schedules, and shared financial and decision-making responsibility. We cover who will pay for the animals’ food and veterinary bills. We consider who has the best set-up and ability to care for the animals, as well as where the human kids are going to be – in some cases, the animal schedule follows the child schedule. Because our divorce mediation agreements focus on the whole family, the needs of the pets and their owners must be included.
For more information on divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org