Custody Of Dogs During Divorce: 3 Ways To Prove To The Court You'll Be A Good Owner

Although some courts still view dogs as property rather than family, more and more courts are starting to recognize that pets, like dogs, are not property, but are family. When ownership is shared, custody of the dogs may be based on which spouse may be able to offer a better life to the dogs—much like for children. If you're looking to win custody over your dog, here are 3 ways you can tip the scales in your favor and prove to the court that you deserve it. Your attorney will use this evidence to build a strong case.

Work Schedules to Prove You'll Have Time to Spare

Caring for a dog is much easier when you have a partner. While many people don't want to be separated from their dogs, the reality is that they actually don't have time in their schedule to adequately care for them. Prove to the courts that you'll be the best owner for your dogs by providing the judge with a copy of your work schedule. It's important to show the courts how many hours you work a day and how many hours you'll be away from home in comparison to your spouse. This may include hours spent commuting to work and hours spent on hobbies, like rock climbing or dancing.

When showing the courts your schedule, you want to emphasize the amount of time you'll be at home with your dogs or the amount of time you can spend with your dogs.

Receipts for Dog Walking Services or Doggy Daycare to Show Ability to Cater to Social Needs

If you're a busy person, you need to show that your dogs will be cared for and not simply left at home. Dogs are social creatures and need a lot of attention and affection. To prove that you'll be able to cater to your dogs' social needs, show receipts for dog walking services or doggy daycare. This will show that you have your dogs' best interests in mind.

If your dogs are not yet enrolled in the doggy daycare, you should get a signed testimony from the daycare showing that you have already made appropriate arrangements with them. You might even want to pay for services ahead of time to show that you are fully committed to your dogs' needs. Your attorney will use this evidence to argue that you are fully prepared to care for your dogs.

Income Records to Show Financial Stability

Taking care of a dog can be quite expensive. The first-year cost of pet ownership can easily exceed $1,000, and you can expect to spend over $500 for each additional year the dog will be in your care. Show the court that you have sufficient income to care for the dogs you are requesting custody over. This is particularly important if you are responsible for many other expenses and if you have children as well.

Submit income stubs and also bank account statements as evidence. If your spouse is a stay-at-home parent, your divorce attorney will want to bring their financial instability to light at this time.


If the dogs are registered under both you and your spouse's name, fighting for custody over the dogs can be difficult. In these situations, your divorce attorney will need to build a strong case that you will be the best caretaker for the dogs. For more information, talk to an attorney like those at Gordon Liebmann Attorneys at Law.

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