There is an upswing in the number of couples who have fought over the custody of a pet during divorce proceedings in the past five years, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and Time magazine.
Pet custody cases are certainly not an everyday occurrence, but they’re making their way into the courtroom. Often, spouses attempt to initiate these disputes merely as some kind of negotiating strategy, often believing they can use the animal as a bargaining chip. As a result, on one side you have the spouse with a real emotional attachment, while on the other is someone looking for an upper hand in negotiations.
So, who are couples scuffling over the most? Dogs. Dogs are the most disputed family animal while cats are runner-ups.
As the issue of pets in divorces continues to garner more exposure, we will likely see an increase of these disputes. Spouses who use Fido to gain an edge in negotiations should think twice, however. Judges don’t like to see outrageous demands being made, especially when there is an intimidating attempt to separate someone from their pet.