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What You Should Know About Pets and Divorce: Divorce Mediation Ontario

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Pets are more than just animals. To many people, they are companions, confidants, and members of the family. So, when a couple decides to divorce, what happens to the pets? Who gets custody of the fur babies? It is a heartbreaking decision that can cause even more stress and tension in an already difficult situation. In this blog post, we will examine the laws surrounding pets and divorce, discuss factors to consider, and provide suggestions for finding a solution that works for everyone involved.


Factors Considered in Pet Custody Cases


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In Canada, pets are considered property, which means that courts typically handle pet custody the same way they would approach dividing other assets. However, a growing number of states are beginning to consider pet welfare as paramount in determining which spouse gets to keep the pets.



So, what factors do courts consider when determining pet custody? Factors may include who spends more time with the pet, who has the financial resources to take care of the pet, who is emotionally more attached to the pet, and who can provide the most stable living environment for the pet. Additionally, who had ownership of the pet before marriage is also a critical consideration.


Types of Pet Custody Arrangements

When it comes to pet custody arrangements, courts will typically award complete ownership to one spouse, or both spouses may agree to share custody of the pet. In cases where custody is shared, a schedule will be established, outlining when each spouse will have the pet. This arrangement works best when the spouses live close to each other, and sensible communication can be maintained.


Mediation as an Option

Mediation is another option that couples can consider when trying to come to a mutual agreement about pet custody. During mediation, both spouses will have the opportunity to work with a trained mediator, who will help them find a solution that works best for both parties, including the pet's welfare.


Mediation enables couples to come to creative solutions that are more flexible than court-ordered solutions.


The Emotional Aspect of Pet Custody

It's essential to remember that pets are not just property, but beloved family members to many. Therefore, the emotional aspect of pet custody is just as important as the practical aspect. Both spouses should consider the impact the separation from the pet might have on the pet's emotional well-being. An animal behaviorist's opinion may be required to determine how the pet will be affected by a particular custody arrangement.


Divorce and pet custody are challenging issues, but courts and mediators are slowly recognizing the importance of pet welfare when making decisions. Pet lovers, in particular, need to keep in mind that during pet custody, it's essential to always put their pet's wellbeing first. There is no one fit solution for pet custody arrangements in divorce proceedings. However, by prioritizing the pet's welfare, couples can reach a solution that works for everyone involved.


Divorce is Simple Can Help With Pet Custody Questions


When going through the difficult process of divorce, pet custody can add an extra layer of complexity to an already stressful situation. With Divorce is Simple, you can rest easy knowing that we can help you navigate this process. Our team of legal experts understands that your pets are a cherished part of your family and deserve to be taken care of properly. We will work with you to ensure that you come up with a plan that is fair and considers the well-being of your four-legged family members. Trust us to help you approach pet custody with professionalism and compassion.


Services offered:

Divorce Mediation Ontario

Uncontested Divorce Ontario

Family Law Mediation

Real Estate Services

Psychotherapy


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