How to avoid disputes about pets in a Minnesota divorce

| Mar 22, 2020 | Divorce |

When a Minnesota married couple decides to go their separate ways, they typically have numerous issues to resolve. When they have children together, there will always be a need for interaction, which is why it pays to try to achieve an agreement in as amicable a fashion as possible. The same goes for pet owners. Most states consider pets as part of property division proceedings in divorce. However, it is not uncommon for spouses and kids to think of pets as members of their family.

Is there a family member who usually takes care of a particular pet? If so, it is best if the pet can keep living with that person after divorce. Pets, like people, can become stressed if too much sudden change occurs in their daily routines. It is possible to write out a pet agreement and to seek the court’s approval so that the terms of the agreement are legally enforceable. 

Just as arguing over child-related issues can spark contention between spouses who disagree, fighting over a pet can also cause complications in a divorce. In fact, some spouses choose to re-home their pets rather than spend time, effort and money fighting over them in court. Those who wish to keep their pets may be able to apply the same types of negotiating skills used to resolved child custody issues to help them forge an agreeable pet care plan. 

Keeping a pet after divorce also has financial implications. An experienced Minnesota family law attorney can help a client devise a pet plan that includes a detailed list of financial issues, detailing who pays for food and supplies, veterinary bills and more. Also, if a pet is going to travel back and forth between homes, and there is a cost involved, such as airfare, this can also be incorporated into a written agreement.