Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Determining Pet Custody during Your Divorce

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In a horrific case reported recently, a man allegedly slit his pet dog's throat, and texted the gory image to his estranged wife.  The couple was engaged in a bitter custody battle over the dog.
The crime came to light when police were called to a home where they found the dog with its throat sliced.  The dog, an American Staffordshire terrier called Rufus, was the subject of a custody fight between the man and his wife. 
The man insists that his wife killed the dog in order to deny him custody of the pet.  He's also reportedly unwilling to cooperate in the investigation.  However, police have determined through text messages, voice mails and other pieces of evidence that it was the man who committed this horrific act.
No one expects every couple that is battling over custody of their dog to go to these insane lengths.  However, this incident does underscore how important pets are to American families, and how bitter the fight over their custody during a divorce can be.
Any SanJose family lawyer would have one single piece of advice to give a couple in the middle of a divorce and fighting over custody of their pet.  It is best that you decide this matter among yourselves, and not drag in an impartial, emotionally uninvolved 3rd party into it. 
A family court will treat your pet as just another piece of property that must be divided between the 2 of you.  However, you may not see your pet as a piece of property, and may be emotionally invested in the animal.
If you brought the pet into the marriage, then the pet is typically yours to keep.  Besides, if you are the one taking care of the pet, like feeding it, and so on, then it makes much more sense that the pet remain with you.  A family court may also probably decide in your favor.