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Pets, children and custody: Keeping your kids happy

Going through a divorce is difficult, especially if you have children and pets. One of the hardest things to decide on will be how your children split their time between your homes. You may also need to decide who can take care of your pets and if they should be in the same home with your children.

With children and pets, custody is different. Children share time with each parent, in most cases. However, pets are treated more like assets. That's why you and your spouse may want to sit down and talk about setting up an arrangement for your pets outside of the courtroom. Ask yourselves if you want to have your pets go from one home to the other with your children (particularly if your pets are well-bonded with the kids) or if you want to have one of you keep them in your home specifically.

What should you do if your child is scared of a pet or doesn't want to live with it?

If you have a child or children who don't want to live with the family pet regularly, you can give the parent with less custody time the pet, or you may consider rehoming it.

What should you do if your child is closely bonded to their pet?

In the case that your child is closely bonded to a pet, it might be a good idea to allow them to travel with their dog or other pet between homes. Keep in mind that some animals, like cats, don't do well with travel and would likely be better off in a single home.

Your attorney can help you come up with a solution that works if this is a problem you're dealing with.

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