Feline Custody Concerns? When The Purr-Fect Divorce Gets Unexpectedly Sidelined

So you've done everything right. You and your soon-to-be former spouse have remained civil with one another, sought separate lawyers, and tried to divide your assets without feuding. Maybe you even settled for shared custody of the kids. That doesn't mean that no friction will arise at another point in the process.

You may just assume that you will get custody of the cat if you are its primary caregiver or if the cat was yours before you were married. A variety of other reasons may lead you to believe that cat custody is a done deal. However, if your ex-partner assumes or even demands custody of your feline companion, things can quickly get ugly. Here's how to protect the right you may have to retain custody of your cat.

Be Proactive in Establishing What You Want

Realize that your cat is considered property under the law. While it may be a sentient creature, it does not yet have many protections under the law. If you are still in the early stages of a divorce, it's important to arm yourself with as much information as possible about cat custody during this time of huge transitions. Seek the counsel of a family law attorney as soon as you can after the decision to separate or file for divorce. Talk to the lawyer about what you want to get from the divorce, including custody of your cat.

Gather Paperwork and Proof of Ownership

Because a court of law cannot recognize all the love, blood, sweat, and tears that go into having a feline companion, it's important to gather all the documentation that you can to support your claim for cat custody. If there is paperwork that shows how you adopted the cat, be sure to get it. If you don't have paperwork about your cat, contact previous owners or even previous veterinarians that you've seen to see if they can help with paperwork that established the relationship you have with your cat.

Hold Onto Your Cat if You Can

According to the American Bar Association, physically possessing your cat can be 90 percent of the battle you're facing. When you let your ex take possession of your cat, it can be hard to get ownership back. Keep your cat with you from the moment of separation if you can.

Finally, if the custody of your beloved cat is threatened, don't simply accept the problem. Fight it with the help of a lawyer. Keep in mind that it's okay to seek the advice of a family law attorney over matters other than direct advice over your kids. This kind of lawyer specializes in the legal issues that can come up with families separating or divorcing, so no question is too off-the-wall to ask your family law attorney.

To learn more, visit a website like http://www.halifaxcountyncattorney.com.