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PET CUSTODY DISPUTES ARE GETTING LEASHED
SAY NATION’S TOP MATRIMONIAL LAWYERS
Survey Finds Fewer Couples Fighting Over Fido
Chicago, IL, February 13, 2017 – As far as divorce is concerned, it looks like Fido is increasingly being left out in the doghouse. According to the most recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 30% of the attorneys have noted a decrease in pet custody cases during the past three years. Dogs remain the top animal causing these disputes with 96% of the respondents, while cats and horses come in a distant second with 1% each.
“More couples are planning ahead to avoid any potential disputes over the custody of a pet during a divorce,” said John Slowiaczek, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “Very often we find that if children are involved in the process, the animal typically stays with them, overriding any claims made by the noncustodial parent. In addition, with divorce cases involving dogs, it usually becomes easy to determine which spouse is more committed to the pet’s overall care.”
Slowiaczek adds that if the couple is living together and not married, then the pet would be much more likely to be seen as someone’s property. As a result, a greater determination will then be placed on who had initially purchased the animal. If you do own a pet before marriage, he advises that you identify it as an asset. After the marriage, if you plan on buying a pet, Slowiaczek strongly recommends a dialogue with your spouse about it. Also, make sure that your spouse is not allergic, because this can add unanticipated stress to the overall relationship.
Founded in 1962, the mission of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) is to provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law. Comprised of the top 1,650 matrimonial attorneys throughout the nation, members are recognized leaders in the areas of matrimonial law, including divorce, prenuptial agreements, legal separation, annulment, custody, property valuation and division, support, and the rights of unmarried couples. The 1,650 AAML Fellows across the United States are generally recognized by judges and attorneys as preeminent family law practitioners with a high level of knowledge, skill, and integrity and enjoy a reputation for professionalism, competence, and integrity.