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Pet custody in a divorce

For many people in Connecticut, a dog or a cat might be the fur baby of their dreams. Pets today are more and more looked upon as treasured members of a family, not just creatures that live in the barn or in the dog house in the corner of the back yard. While this can be very positive in most situations, it can make the decision about who gets the pet when a couple gets divorced very difficult. explains that a divorce is not just hard on the spouses who are splitting up but also on the family pet. Dogs, for example, love their routines and can become quite upset when things get turned upside down. They might even have potty accidents or act out in other ways, much like a small child who is exhibiting emotional distress during a parental divorce.

For a long time, the concept of how to decide which spouse should be take a pet after a divorce was treated almost in a transactional manner. Most courts looked at pets like any other piece of marital property. According to the Pew Trusts, that is shifting with at least three states having laws in effect that require the best interests of the pet to be taken into consideration before a pet custody decision is made in a divorce. 

When determining what is best for a dog or a cat, courts might review the daily life of the pet and who is involved in what aspects of care or companionship with the animal. 


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