Divorce is never easy, and it becomes even more complicated when pets are involved. In New Jersey, pets are considered property, which means that they are subject to the same rules as other assets like cars or furniture. However, if you are a pet owner going through a divorce, you know that your furry friend is much more than just property.
Couples who share pets often face a difficult decision when it comes to custody. Who gets to keep the dog or cat? The answer is not always easy, and it can be an emotionally charged issue.
The good news is that there are several options available to pet owners in New Jersey. Here are a few possibilities:
- Mediation: Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party helps the couple reach a settlement agreement. This can be a good option for couples who are willing to work together to find a solution that is best for the pet.
- Shared custody: Just like with children, shared custody of pets is an option in New Jersey. This can be a good choice for couples who are committed to co-parenting their furry friend.
- Sole custody: If one person is more attached to the pet than the other, sole custody might be the best option. In this case, the pet would live with one person and the other person would have visitation rights.
- Sell the pet: While this may not be the ideal solution for many pet owners, selling the pet and splitting the proceeds can be a way to resolve the issue if neither person is willing to give up the pet.
Regardless of the option chosen, it’s important to remember that pets can be just as affected by divorce as children. The change in living arrangements and routines can be stressful for them. It’s important to try to maintain as much stability as possible for the pet during this transition.
If you are facing a divorce and have pets, it’s important to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through the process. They can help you understand your options and work towards a solution that is best for you and your furry friend.
In the end, remember that pets are a source of comfort and companionship, and they deserve to be treated with care and respect during the divorce process. With a little patience and understanding, you can work towards a resolution that benefits everyone involved, including your beloved pet.
According to the website 24/7 Wall St. the average cost for a divorce in N.J. without children is $15,600. The same website shows the cost of divorce in N.J. with children to average $23,400. This may seem high, but the reality is that the average cost of a wedding in N.J. is $62,000! No one is saying that weddings aren’t wonderful, but if the marriage does unfortunately end in divorce, you are now paying to fight for your financial future and your children (if you have children- and most divorcing couples do).
Accordingly, it is imperative to find a good lawyer to negotiate your settlement and putting the money into what will eventually become a Court Order binding you to its terms is reasonable and necessary. This is especially true when you look at the fact that the average divorce in N.J. costs 38% of what the average wedding costs.
Given all that, there are things you can do to defray the costs of your divorce lawyer. For example:
- Always be honest, even if you feel it makes you look bad.
- Be prepared for all meetings and telephone calls. Make notes if you need to.
- Gather as much information as you possibly can, alleviating the need for the lawyer to do the “detective” work at his/her hourly rate.
- Be clear with your lawyer as to your goals.
- Listen to your lawyer’s advice- he or she is the expert. Your lawyer will explain all your options and will listen if you disagree, but look carefully at your motives in your disagreement. It is a waste of time and finances if you are refusing your lawyer’s advice for purely emotional or vengeful reasons.
Your divorce lawyer wants what is best for you. Think of this as a partnership-yes, one that will cost money, but worth what you pay in the long run.
Contact our firm today at if you need assistance with your divorce.