Fighting for Pet Custody: How to Prove Your Case
Even though you can't technically have custody of a pet because pets are treated as property by the court, legal disputes can arise over who has a lawful right to keep the pet as property. If you and your partner split up and a pet is something you both love, these "pet custody" battles can get really intense. The court will be left to determine who should retain ownership of the pet, which means you may have to supply evidence to prove you are the owner. Here are a few things you should supply to your animal lawyer.
Show proof that you are the pet's actual owner with a purchase/adoption contract and receipt of purchase (credit card receipt, canceled check, ATM cash withdrawal, etc.).
If you originally adopted the pet or you are listed as the owner of the pet at vet, these are things that could help during your animal custody case. Bring along documents that can support your claim if you were the person listed as the owner.
Show receipts to prove what you have paid for pet care.
If you have been the primary care provider for the pet, gather evidence to support how much you paid. Consider receipts for things like:
Pet food and treats
Pet-sitting, pet boarding, or pet walking
Any documentation you can provide to show how much you personally paid for the care of the animal and did not get reimbursed from your partner could help you in court.
Sometimes, a court will listen to evidence of who walked the dog, who played with the dog, who spent extra time with a dog. It is good to provide your attorney with the names of independent witnesses who can testify to your care of and time spent with the dog.