Dealing with pet issues in your divorce? Talk to your attorney

When two people get divorced, those who depended on that couple for love, support and care can find themselves in a very difficult position. They may have to get used to moving between houses, seeing one person much less or never again and new care environments when no one else can be home.

You might think it is only children who are in this situation, but pets can also be greatly affected by a divorce. Increasingly, courts across Florida are dealing with issues like visitation and requests for support to take care of pets as people want to have some control over the well-being of their animals. However, it can get pretty complicated.

Many of the problems that arise in these situations stem from the fact that in the eyes of the law in Florida, pets are considered property and should be divided in accordance with state equitable distribution laws. This means there are no formal guidelines that specifically address how to work out pet custody or what a fair support arrangement might look like.

However, this is not to say there aren’t solutions. Recently, for example, actress Mandy Moore filed a request for support from her ex, singer Ryan Adams, to cover the costs associated with caring for their eight pets. Moore states that after the couple split, Adams never took the two pets he had promised to take and instead left Moore in charge of care for all of them.

She is requesting $37,000 per month in support from Adams and also wants him to take at least four of their pets. It will be interesting to see what the courts have to say.

This type of situation is not uncommon. People often fight to protect their animals but don’t want to be left taking on the added expenses of pet ownership alone. In many cases, it is possible to work with an ex to find a fair, agreeable solution through negotiation and collaboration. In other cases, it may be left in the hands of the court. 

In either scenario, it can be crucial to have the guidance and support of your attorney to help you through this complicated aspect of your divorce.

Source: Fox News, “Mandy Moore reportedly wants her ex Ryan Adams to pay for her 8 pets,” Dec. 13, 2015

FindLaw Network
The Florida Bar | Board Certified
Super Lawyers
Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards & Legal Ability | AV Preeminent | Martindale-Hubbell from LexisNexis 2020
AFLP | Association of Family Law Professionals
Bar Register | Preeminent Lawyers | 2020 Martindale-Hubbell