I can get custody of my pet? There are many things couples battle over during divorce: the house, the car, the children….Fido? Many people love their pets as if they were a child. Pets are no longer just a companion; they are part of the family and are often victims of custody disputes.
Pets were considered to be property, as such, the judge would divide the pet like any other property the divorcing couple had. As more people view their pets as a family member, courts are adopting new views on who should get the pet that do away with the old views of the pet as divisible property. Couples are encouraged to create a visitation schedule, where both parties would have time with pet, much like child visitation.
When making custody determinations, the Judge will look at factors such as who purchased or adopted the pet, who buys the food, who takes the pet in for their shots, etc. These factors are not all the Judge considers when making a custody determination, they will look at evidence showing which person is the primary caregiver to the pet; i.e. taking them to the vet, feeding them, walking them, bathing them, etc. Parties to the divorce can even bring in witnesses to testify on their behalf that it was them who cared for and loved the pet, not the other party.
Famous Couples who have fought for custody of their pet include Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, Drew Barrymore and Tom Green, Kate and Jon Gosselin, Jennifer Aniston, Tinsley and Topper Mortimer, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ross McCall, Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren.