For most people in Michigan, their pets are a full-fledged part of the family. A dog or a cat can be a loyal friend and companion, always ready to cheer an owner up on a bad day. Some people even seem to have more pictures of their pets on their cameras than pictures of their own children. But the joy of pet ownership can be tempered in the wake of a divorce or break-up. Suddenly, the divorcing couple might find themselves at odds over who gets to live with Fido. In other situations, the end of a marriage can mean that one former partner is not interested in retaining ownership of the pet, but might use the animal as a bargaining chip to get at other desirable property. Emotions definitely can run high during a divorce, but some people have reported that relying on mediation techniques instead of going to court to sort out pet issues has been beneficial.
According to a recent survey, the number of households in the United States that include a pet is on the rise, so it is no surprise that divorce disputes over companion animals are becoming more and more common. Attorneys who specialize in divorce and other family law matters are often asked to help settle pet disagreements. Many times pet-custody disputes are solved through negotiations outside of a courtroom. If you are going through a divorce, an attorney may be able to help mediate a suitable solution for you and your pet.