When you decide to get a divorce, it’s crucial to understand what will happen to your property, including your pets. If you are worried about what will happen to your pet, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a proficient Garden City Divorce Lawyer who can help you navigate these complex issues. Please continue reading to learn more about retaining pet custody in New York and what you should include in a pet custody plan. 

Are There Any Laws Surrounding Pet Custody in New York?

Unlike other states, New York has enacted legislation surrounding how the courts handle pet custody. In the past, pets were treated as just another piece of property, like a couch or table, subject to equitable distribution. However, for certain pets, such as dogs, cats, and any other domesticated animals cared for by owners, the court must consider the pet’s best interests, as they are now considered a “special” type of property. This includes determining which party can provide the best care, love, and attention.

It’s important to note that for couples with children, the courts heavily weigh where the children will live. In most cases, children have a special bond with pets. Therefore, the courts will try to keep children and animals together when possible to preserve the best interests of a child.

Moreover, the court can grant joint ownership. However, if the parties live far from each other, awarding sole pet custody to one partner may be more appropriate, as frequent traveling between residences can be detrimental to an animal’s overall well-being. As such, if you want to ensure you remain in your pet’s life, you should create a pet custody plan.

What Are the Key Considerations When Creating a Pet Custody Plan?

Pet custody is best resolved through agreements. You can prepare a written contract outlining the pet’s care and the expenses that will be shared. It’s beneficial to provide evidence of your primary care for the pet to help support your case. This includes photos and videos of you bonding with the anima, veterinarian bills, pictures that show your home is better suited for caring for a pet, or a work schedule that shows you have abundant time to dedicate to caring for the animal.

When crafting a pet custody plan, it’s crucial to consider what happens when things go wrong. If the pet needs to be taken to the vet in case of an emergency, then it should be clear that the parent who has custody at the time should handle the situation accordingly. In addition, you should consider how disputes will be resolved. Similarly to co-parenting children, co-parenting a pet requires good communication. In your plan, you should outline how exchanges will happen. Regardless of whether you are awarded joint or sole custody, your plan should prioritize your pet’s best interests.

If you are divorcing and want to ensure you keep custody of your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact a dedicated lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, who can effectively represent your interests.