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"Pet custody" a more prevalent issue in modern divorce

High divorce rates, coupled with a booming pet industry across America, has led to the unusual but swiftly growing issue of pet custody in separation agreements. Connecticut pet owners understand how attached individuals can become to their pets. Quite often these individuals view their pets as more than property to be divided in a divorce situation.

According to recent polls, 68 percent of American households include a pet, and owners do not skimp on the costs associated with maintaining furry or feathered family members. A staggering $53.33 billion was spent on pet needs in 2012 alone. This means owning a pet is not just an emotional investment, but a considerable financial one as well.

Perhaps shockingly, more divorce lawyers are dealing with so-called pet custody battles in much the same way as they would child custody, suggesting visitation rights and even joint custody. Additionally, the advice given to divorcing pet owners is eerily similar to that afforded separating parents. Clearly, pet owners experiencing divorce take their pets very seriously, and the machinery associated with implementing a divorce is beginning to recognize and accommodate for those feelings.

Dividing assets during a divorce can be difficult, but for some Connecticut residents, the idea of treating a pet as just another piece of property is unthinkable. In this case, it may benefit both parties to seek out specialized assistance in laying out the framework for an equitable custody agreement. It may sound somewhat unorthodox in the larger scheme of divorce, but the importance people place on their relationships with their pets is quickly becoming viewed as a valid point in favor of pet custody.

Source:, Divorce, Doggy Style, Katya Cengel, Nov. 23, 2013

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