Home Features Law Dear Divorce Mediators: Dividing Doggies In Divorce - Page 2

Here are a few things to think about:

Who will retain “ownership” of the dogs?
You might agree that one of you retains “sole ownership” of the pups. However, consider that Arizona parenting law for children presumes that parents have joint legal decision-making authority. Joint decision making over children is most often in the children’s best interests.

You can do this for doggies too. You could agree in mediation that you will have “joint ownership” of Rocky and Roadie.


How will we share time with the dogs?
“All or nothing” when it comes to seeing the dogs you love is a terrible thought. Especially when you have children and dogs, it can hurt everyone when only one spouse winds up allowed to see the family dogs.

In your “pet parenting plan,” you could agree: “the dogs go where the children go.” For some, that keeps things simple, children have the benefit of always being with the doggies, and both parents get to experience the joy of seeing their children interact with their dogs.

If keeping the kids with the dogs is not important, parents might agree: “When the kids are with Mom, Dad has the dogs. When the kids are with Dad, Mom has the dogs.”

Spouses can also take into account their work and travel schedules and agree upon a reasonable time sharing plan that meets their own needs, and the best interests of the doggies, so that they spend the least amount of time home alone.