The process of separation for spouses or cohabitation partners can be complicated in many ways. One of these challenging ways is deciding the custody rights of a pet or pets. This could also be a concern with long-term roommates who plan to live separately after having shared a pet for a long time.
The law sees pets as personal properties. Even though that seems unreasonable to many people attached to their pets, emotions are unlikely to sway a court's decision on the matter. You will need a Pet Custody Agreement if you share one or more pets with someone at home.
The Pet Custody Agreement is a legally binding contract between the co-owners of one or more pets. The document protects the pet's best interest in the event of the owners living separately.
You might think there's an understanding of who will get the pet in the event of separation, but things can get complicated in a break or divorce proceeding. In this respect, a Pet Custody Agreement's goal is to consider the pet's safety and well-being first and foremost. If you own other pets, you also have to consider how the separation will affect all of them. The same applies to children and their welfare vis-à-vis the pet or pets.
Depending on your state, a Pet Custody Agreement may also be known as:
The Pet Custody Agreement is a useful document for everyone who has decided to purchase or adopt a pet with their partner or roommate. Creating a fair and balanced agreement can make a potential separation easier on everyone, especially the pet.
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A Pet Custody Agreement requires details about the pet and the owners. It should also clearly outline what happens to the pet if the owners go their separate ways.
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Every co-owner of the pet must sign the Pet Custody Agreement to make it legally binding. You may want to understand all of the terms of the agreement before you sign. Notarization is not required, but you can include a witness signature.
You do not have to file the Pet Custody Agreement with any government body. It is recommended for all parties to retail a physical copy of the agreement in case of a dispute.
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