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Pet ownership can be negotiated during divorce

For many people, a pet is not simply an animal that lives in the person's home but a beloved member of the family. As such, it is only natural that some spouses considering divorce may have custody issues when it comes to their furry companions. Some Colorado individuals may even choose to include what is becoming known as a "pre-pup" in their prenuptial agreement.

The Humane Society quotes that 179 million dogs and cats live in homes around the country. With so many pet owners, it is no surprise that people are becoming incredibly attached to their pets. Some pet owners even call their pets "children." When married pet owners begin to file for divorce, the thought of being without their "children" as well as their spouse may make it difficult to bear.

In cases where pet custody is an important part of the divorce negotiations, it is important to consider the pet's best interest when making the decision, just as if the pet really were a child. For example, if one spouse is going to continue living in the home while the other moves to a smaller place, it may be better for the pet to stay in a familiar area. It is also important to consider individual income and which spouse would be more able to provide the pet with things such as medical care.

In any case, Colorado pet owners are free to negotiate these issues during the divorce process. They could agree upon who will have primary custody as well as make provisions for pet visitation rights for the other spouse. Anyone who is concerned about an aspect of their life that may change as the result of a divorce can avail themselves of professional assistance to help negotiate these important issues.

Source: USA Today, "Pets increasingly at center of divorce battles", Cameron Saucier, Aug. 24, 2014

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