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What happens to the family pet in a divorce with children?

Massachusetts families are often more than just the parents and children. Many have pets that they consider to be part of the family. When it comes to divorce, figuring out what to do with the family pet may not be as easy as some people think.

Only two states in the union no longer consider pets property when it comes to divorce, and Massachusetts is not one of them. Instead, pets are considered property, which means that the court deals with them in the same way that it would a sofa or a retirement account. More than likely, that would not appeal to most families.

In divorces where children are involved, the court may rule that the parent with primary custody of the children would keep the pet or that the pet would move back and forth with the children. Any other arrangements would need to be made between the parties. In fact, a couple can come up with their own agreement regarding the family pet. Of course, since there are children involved, parents will more than likely consider their feelings and needs before making any decisions.

For those going through a divorce with children, the issues may already seem insurmountable. When the family pet is added into the mix, the emotional turmoil may only increase. It may be a good idea to determine whether an agreement can be made outside the courtroom. This provides the parties with the opportunity to come up with another arrangement that works best for everyone involved -- parents and children alike.

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