Last week our guest blogger, Louisville Attorney Eric Ashley shared with us the legalities behind divorce or separation and what can happen when you have pets as a couple. You can read Part I by clicking here.
In Part II of Eric’s blog, he addresses what you can do to best control the outcome of a divorce or separation in regards to your pets by an agreement via settlement. There are four different types of agreements: Cohabitation, Prenuptial/antenuptial, Post nuptial, and property settlement agreements. There are four types:
- Cohabitation agreements would be appropriate when the parties wish to live together, without considering marriage at that time.
- Prenuptial agreements are done before marriage, in consideration of marriage.
- Post nuptial agreements are post marriage, but pre-divorce.
- Property settlement agreements are after marriage and with a divorce pending; in which the agreement resolves the property issues in the case.
Many people associate agreements (especially prenuptial agreements) with a lack of trust on behalf of one of the parties involved, but in this day and age of a 50% divorce rate….they should be seen as a positive way to protect both the parties assets and property (including pets).
Agreements specifically regarding pets avoid the unpredictable outcomes associated with litigation; reduce litigation costs; and help provide a set schedule for when/where each party can enjoy time with their pets. Finally they can also help parties appropriate veterinarian costs; which is often litigated more frequently than actual pet custody/visitation.
Any pet owner knows, vet bills can be very, very expensive.
So, which agreement fits your situation? Well, it depends. Typically, its best to reach an agreement early as possible.
I know, I know – nothing says romance like a good prenup or cohabitation discussion. Am I right?
Even so, an agreement while both parties are still friendly, are the easiest and least expensive. There’s more agreeing, and less fighting. Plus it gives you both a degree of comfort and stability on the issue moving forward.
Those are always good things.
Attempting to negotiate agreements after litigation ensues means litigation costs were already incurred, and a vindictive spouse can attempt to leverage the pet issue for purposes of negotiating a favorable settlement on other issues.
So get the pet issue resolved as early on as possible. Agree on something while you’re both still happy; and reduce it to writing. Its a cheaper more predictable outcome in every situation.
If you are interested in private, in-your-home pet care services with Paws Pet Care Pet Sitting & Dog Walking call us at 502-802-5052 or email us at [email protected].