Who gets custody of our pets in an Arizona divorce?
Arizona child custody (legal decision making) revolves around the phrase “best interests of the child,” and the laws in Arizona reflect that. This means that the Court will award custody so that the child is raised the best way possible.
There are no “best interests of the pet” laws in Arizona, pets are considered private property, and treated as such in a divorce.
If you owned the pet, before the marriage, that pet is considered sole and separate property. But this can get pretty complicated, because if your spouse contributed to the care and maintenance of that pet, saved the pet’s life by taking it to the vet, or contributed significantly to the pets training, then it’s no longer sole and separate. Now that property could be considered comingled. The best answer if any of these cases apply, is to get an attorney to sort this out.
If you have a child, then it becomes even more complicated, because children can become very attached to the family pet, and vice-versa.
One answer to this problem is to keep the child with the pet as much as possible, including visitation schedules.
Commingled property is a complicated issue. The best answer is to get an experienced attorney. If you need help with a pet in a divorce, or other family issues call Enholm Law at (602) 889-6273.