When a divorce happens we go from being with someone all the time to being alone. Depending on how your marriage ended, this is probably a welcome change for most. But what can often happen is we can become set in our own ways if we are alone for a long period of time. After months and possibly years go by, we now become used to being alone and doing things our own way. This can make things difficult when you do finally meet somone you like and want to start a relationship with them. Nobody likes someone set in their ways. A relationship is about give and take. A friend of mine told me that even though they were alone, they didn’t want to become one of those divorcee’s who become set in their ways. So they immediately got a pet after their divorce. Not only can a pet offer you company during this time of need, they can keep you focused on not just yourself. A pet has needs too and it helps you to consider another living creature as well. If you always wanted a pet, right after a divorce is a great time to get one. A dog or cat can certainly put a smile on your face. It’s always welcoming when you come home after a long day. Long walks with your dog will also be good to keep you in shape and active. It’s so important to get out of your house and enjoy mother nature. Smell the roses because this is the beginning of a new you and a new life. Look for a pet adoption location in your area. Make your new home a happy one.
You may be divorcing your spouse, but you are NOT divorcing your pets. If you’re a couple who didn’t have any children during your marriage, your pets probably filled that role. They need their mommy and daddy too. Pets become attached to you just like you become attached to them. They are used to routine and if one of their owners is gone, their routine is disrupted and it can often be seen in their behavior. They might become antsy and begin looking for the missing owner .
Some divorce agreements include custody by one owner and even visitation rights by the other. I have even heard of stories where couples ran up a high legal bill fighting each other for custody of their beloved pet. Another couple in New York City handled their dog custody in a very healthy way. It was decided that the wife got primary custody of their French Bulldog and the husband got visitation rights. The husband didn’t want to see his ex-wife when he picked up the dog, so they signed up for a local doggy daycare facility. When the ex-husband was going to get the dog for the weekend, she dropped the dog off on Friday morning. Her ex-husband picked the dog up after work at the day care. The dog spent the weekend with him and on Monday morning, he dropped him back off at day care. That night, his ex-wife picked the dog up again. Done and done! Everybody was happy with the arrangement.
If you and your ex truly love your pet and or pets, you need to find a way to make it work. Just like you want it to be a peaceful transition for you during a divorce, you need to make it that way for your pet as well!
We all know you want to put your spouse in the dog house during a divorce. But what happens to the actual dog or any other pet, you both own when your marriage ends? Do you get visitation rights?
A friend of mine, Cindy, who lives in Los Angeles told me that they decided to share custody of their dog Oscar. But they refused to see each other. So how did they exchange their cute little pooch when their visitation time arrived? They came up with an interesting plan. In the morning, Cindy would drop Oscar off at doggie day care (yes, they actually have those in LA) and then her ex would pick up the dog at night. A few days later, when his visitation time was up, he would drop Oscar back off at day care and that night Cindy picked him up. Voila, there you have it! They succeeded in sharing custody without seeing each other.
Now, if you can’t afford the luxury of doggie day care, leave your pet with a neutral neighbor or friend. (Just don’t ever pick it up from you ex-mother-in-law’s!)