Pet Custody: Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce?

Pet custody is a tricky situation that often comes up during divorce proceedings. Pets are loving members of the family for lots of couples. Determining what should happen to them in a divorce can get very complicated. A lot depends on how the pet is owned. There are different types of ownership – marital property and separate property. If one spouse already owned the dog, then it’s somewhat easier to determine. However, if the couple bought the dog jointly, things can get more complicated. Sometimes split custody is the arrangement that everybody agrees on. And finally, if you have children who are close to the dog, it can affect the outcome as well. Divorce is complicated, but hopefully, you will figure out a way to handle the family pet fairly.

Pet Custody: Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce?

Types of Property Ownership

Pet custody often comes down to when and how the family got the pet. In many states, there are two types of property ownership: marital and separate property. Marital property is anything that you both bought together as a couple. It can also include things you bought during your marriage. Separate property includes things that you bring into the marriage. It can also include gifts or things that you inherited during the course of your marriage.

An Animal Owned Before Marriage

If you or your spouse already owned the pet before you got married, pet custody is a little more cut and dry. In this situation, the pet usually goes to its original owner. However, often couples purchase a pet together. In these situations, it can be much more complicated. A judge would look at several factors to determine who gets the pet.

Pets and Children

One of the factors that a judge might look at to determine pet custody is the custody of the children. If children are particularly close to a pet, it can be especially important. Oftentimes, a judge will want what is best for the children. In a time when things are a bit stressful and up in the air, a family pet can keep kids calmer. The pet might go to the parent who spends the most time with the children.

Joint Custody

Another outcome that is less common in pet custody situations is joint custody. This is where a pet would split its time between two spouses. This doesn’t often happen in North Carolina because most judges consider pets as property. However, if a couple jointly decides that this is what they want, they can include it in their separation agreement. They can also decide on visitation. Pet custody can be a complicated and emotional aspect of divorce. Unfortunately, along with the rest of the stress of divorce, people often forget that they’ll have to figure out what happens with their favorite pets. A lot depends on whether the pet is marital or separate property. If one spouse comes into the marriage with the pet, then they usually will get it in a divorce. In contrast, if the spouses buy the pet together it can get much more complicated. If they can agree to joint custody and visitation this can be part of their separation agreement. Otherwise, a judge will decide. Often judges will take the pet’s relationship with the family children into account as well. Hopefully, you’ll be able to come to an agreement that works for everybody and can keep your relationship with your loving pet.

Missing Your Children Because of Split Custody

If you have recently gone through a divorce, you might be missing your children because of split custody. Suddenly going from having your children with you all the time to having to take turns with their other parent can be incredibly hard. Remember that you will eventually adjust to the new normal of your schedule. However, in the short term, try to use modern technology to your advantage. Talk to a friend or therapist if you need a sympathetic ear. Find a hobby to fill your time, and plan to focus on yourself for a little while. It can be difficult to spend time away from your children, but you’ll adjust to your custody arrangement in time. Just remember that you and your ex have made the decision that ultimately is the best for your children.

Missing Your Children Because of Split Custody: A New Normal

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Modern technology can be a huge help if you’re missing your children because of split custody. There are tons of apps out there that will allow you to keep up with them even when you’re apart. You can try to schedule times to call them or video chat each night. Make sure that you extend the same courtesy to your ex when they are missing the kids too. If your children are young, it might be harder for them when they see or hear you on the phone. But you and your ex can still exchange pictures or short videos of your children when you’re apart.

Talk to a Friend

If you feel like you need to talk to somebody about missing your children because of split custody, find a friend or therapist that can lend an ear. You might want to speak to a friend who has gone through something similar. They can give you support and offer comfort when you are feeling sad. A therapist can help you find coping strategies for when you’re missing them. Sometimes, another person can put things in perspective and help you remember that it’ll soon be your turn to have the children.

Find a Hobby

The hardest thing about missing your children because of split custody is dealing with boredom. Your life used to be filled with being focused on your kids every minute of the day. Suddenly, you have time to yourself where they don’t need you. Boredom can make you feel even sadder because you might be lonely. Plan in advance for the time that you won’t have them. Plan out a schedule so that you have a structure for your day. Now is a great time to find a new hobby. Focusing your time on a new passion can help take your mind off of missing your kids.

Focus on Yourself

Finally, one other way to feel better if you are missing your children because of split custody is to focus on yourself for a little while. Find something that makes you happy, which will give you something to look forward to when you are away from them. For example, buy a new book or movie that you can put away until you have a weekend without your kids. Or plan to have dinner with a friend without the stress of finding a babysitter. You’ll have a distraction ready to go for when you inevitably feel sad about missing them. Though you miss them, try to take advantage of the time away to focus on yourself for a little while.

Missing your children because of split custody is a hard thing to adjust to. Just remember that you will eventually get used to your new arrangement, and the time away will be easier to handle. Use modern apps and phone calls to stay in touch when you need to talk to them. Find a friend to talk to when you’re feeling sad. Focus on a new hobby to distract yourself, and take some “me” time. Finally, if you are having a hard time adjusting, talk to a therapist. Hopefully, you will be able to remember that your separation was the best thing for your family. Though you miss them when they’re away, you will hopefully adjust soon to your new custody arrangement.

When Sole Custody is Necessary: Navigating Bitterness and Retaliation

Navigated a divorce is difficult enough. When you add children to the situation, every decision gets more complicated. One thing you might be stressing over is whether or not to seek sole custody. In some situations, sole custody is necessary for various reasons. However, in some situations, the children and parents might be better off with a joint-custody situation. Just make sure you know what is driving the decision. Is it for retaliation against your ex? Or is it for the benefit of the children? If you find that you are acting out of bitterness, try to find another outlet for your anger. Every decision you make needs to be in the best interest of your kids.

Is Sole Custody Necessary: Navigating Bitterness and Retaliation

When is Sole Custody Necessary?

Sole custody is necessary for several situations. Sole legal custody means that only one parent is responsible for making decisions regarding the children. If your partner is unfit to do this, you might need to seek sole custody. For example, this could include mental health problems, or substance abuse issues. If there has been abandonment, then you’ll want to seek custody. And of course, if there are any concerns about abuse for you or your children. Another consideration is if your ex is currently in prison or jail.

And finally, if your ex is being relocated to another state or country, it might be that sole custody is necessary. Custody involves making important decisions for your kids. If it will be difficult for somebody to get in touch with your ex, then you might want to make sure it’s just you making the decisions. If they are relocating but will be easy to get in touch with and plan to visit often, then sole custody might not be required.

What is Your Motivation?

If you are considering whether or not sole custody is necessary, ask yourself a few questions. What is the reason why I feel like this is needed? Am I doing this just to get back at my ex? Is this overall, the best thing for my children? Divorce can leave you very bitter. Divorces bring out emotions between spouses that they never realized they would feel. Hurtful things are said, and insults are thrown. If you find that you want to seek sole custody mostly because it will hurt your partner, then you need to re-evaluate. If your ex-spouse is not an unfit parent, then really take a look at your motivations. Depriving children of the chance to have one of their parents involved in their life might not be best for them.

Finding an Outlet

If you debate whether sole custody is necessary and find that perhaps you are acting out of bitterness, try to find other ways to address your feelings. You could try an outlet for your frustration like journaling or a new hobby. Or you could also really sit down with your ex and discuss your feelings. You might even enlist the help of a therapist. If your ex is an able and willing caregiver for your children, then try not to let your bitterness decide your custody

When you are debating whether or not sole custody is necessary, try to figure out your motivation. If you’re concerned at all for the wellbeing of your kids while in your ex’s care, then consider sole custody. And if they are unfit for any reason, it might be necessary. If you are only seeking it to hurt your ex-partner, it might not be the healthiest thing for your kids. Try to find other ways to vent your frustrations. Always try to remember that your children don’t know all the details of your divorce. Your partner may have done hurtful things to you, But your children will probably benefit from having both parents in their lives as long as both of you are supportive and caring.