For many couples without children, dogs end up thought of and treated like “fur babies.” Emotionally, those pets become your children. In some cases, such as a suddenly discovered affair, dogs and other pets can become leverage during a divorce. Your former spouse may have filed for divorce, changed the locks and kept your dogs. In some cases, your former spouse may have gone even further and taken your pet to the veterinarian to have it euthanized. Not only do you have to live with the end of your relationship, you’ll also be grieving your beloved pet. The emotional fallout can be long-lasting.
If your former spouse is trying to use a pet as leverage or had your pet put down as a way of exacting revenge and hurting you, you need to make sure the courts know that. Unfortunately, pets obtained during marriage are likely considered shared or marital assets, meaning your spouse didn’t break the law. Working with an experienced New York divorce attorney can help you present your case during the divorce. This, in turn, can ensure that the courts consider your spouse’s terrible behavior when the courts decide on issues like asset division, as well as the permanent placement of your pet.
Animal and emotional abuse can affect your divorce
Some people try to hide assets from their spouses during a divorce. Other people try to take assets that have emotional value to the other person, including dogs or other pets. Keeping an animal away from you during a divorce can be a powerful tool to ensure you give the other person whatever he or she asks for during a divorce.
If you work with an experienced attorney who understands the New York family law system, he or she can present evidence about the behavior of your former spouse to show that it was abusive or manipulative. That can help you obtain custody of your beloved pet during divorce.
If your former spouse had the the animal put down as a means of revenge, the courts may consider that terrible act as evidence of emotional abuse on the part of your former spouse. By demonstrating that your former spouse intentionally took actions to inflict great suffering on your part, your attorney may be able to obtain a more favorable division of assets. New York is an equitable distribution state when it comes to assets, but in cases of serious abuse, the victimized spouse may be given special considerations by the courts.
The right attorney makes a difference during divorce
In cases of contentious divorce, it is nearly impossible to be your own best advocate. Your attorney can fight for a fair division of assets, including the placement of any pets. He or she can also help argue on your behalf if an animal was euthanized as means of hurting you.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001