Even though you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have no children, your dog seems like a member of the family. If you acquired the animal during your marriage, though, you are likely to have to address its ownership when you divorce. After all, you simply cannot split the pooch into two equal parts.
Unlike in many other states, California law allows divorcing spouses to pursue custody of dogs, much like you would with a child. If you expect your husband or wife to fight a custody battle, you should prepare yourself to advocate effectively for your interests.
According to reporting from PEW, family court judges in the Golden State have the authority to consider pet care when deciding whether to award sole custody of the dog to one person or joint custody to both. Therefore, when planning to seek exclusive custody of your pup, it is important to think like a judge.
Before your court date arrives, you should try to collect comprehensive evidence about who cares for your dog. In addition to finding documentation about the pup’s adoption, you should think about who feeds, walks and spends time with the animal. You also may want to document the role you have played in obtaining veterinary care for your pup.
The dog’s attachment
If your dog is like many others, the animal may prefer you over your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If this is the case, it may be helpful to try to document the dog’s attachment to you. This may require affidavits from someone at doggy daycare, your veterinarian or others who are in the know.
Ultimately, by gathering as much evidence as possible about your relationship with your dog, you may increase your chances of winning sole custody of the animal.