While child custody cases get most of the attention when talking about splitting up time during a divorce in Arizona, it’s important for some couples to remember that a pet parenting plan may also be in order. Often, both people will love the pet and will still want to be able to see it–and they could have a fair amount of money invested in it. If so, what can you do?
There are not many laws governing this, as your pet is technically just property that you own and can be divided as such, but you might want to get creative if you both want to see the pet. Some couples split things up much the same as you would with a parenting plan for a child. The pet either goes back and forth once a week, or it lives most often with one person and then visits the other on the weekends.
If you and your ex live close to each other, you may want to adopt what is known as a 2-2-5-5 schedule. It’s fairly simple, just making it so that you have the pet for two days, then your spouse does, then you get it for five days, and so forth. You can do this with any structure you want, so long as you both agree to it.
One subject that you want to be sure to broach is how to split up the costs of owning the pet. This can go beyond food, toys and basic amenities. If a trip to the vet is required, who is going to pay? Does the person who happens to have the pet at the time pay, or do you divide it up? What about medications, such as pills that have to be taken once a day?
Be sure you talk it all over so that you’re both very clear on where you stand, legally speaking. Your attorney can provide more information about the various legal options you may have.
Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Confidential: Crafting a Creative Pet Parenting Plan,” Caroline Choi, accessed March 11, 2016