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Steps divorcing spouses can take to develop a pet custody plan

Virginia residents know that there are many important areas that must be settled during a divorce, including property division, alimony, child custody and child visitation. But one area that may not receive enough attention is pet custody. Both parents may want their family pet to live with them, but that is simply not possible. And since a court does not treat a pet the same as a child, it's very possible that one spouse may have to give the animal up. That is why many divorcing spouses are using their attorneys to help them develop a pet parenting plan so that both of them can continue to enjoy being with their favorite animal. So here are some steps that can help divorcing couples formulate a pet parenting plan.

A pet parenting plan can be very similar to a child custody plan. But, unlike that plan, the ex-spouses can be as creative as they like since it does not involve their children. They can decide to take care of the pet on alternate weekends or even by alternating entire weeks. If they miss their pet too much they can even come up with shorter durations such as every two or three days.

Another pet decision that the ex spouses will have to think over is which one of them will make the decisions for the animal. Just like the decisions about their child, the couple can decide to make any pet decisions together or they could allow one of them to make all of these choices. This can include what to do if the pet becomes ill and steps to be taken once the animal passes away.

Decisions about one's pet are just one of the many that have to be made during a divorce. Any Virginia resident who is considering taking this step may want to speak with a divorce attorney in order to get a clearer understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities.

Source:, "Divorce confidential: crafting a creative pet parenting plan", Accessed Sep. 21, 2015

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