Georgia families may recognize that custody can be a serious issue during a divorce, and pet custody is becoming a common issue for those facing divorce across the country. As battles reach the court room, many are recognizing that a pet is an important part of a family, in some cases filling a gap for a couple without children. This makes the handling of a pet somewhat different than deciding who will receive furnishings and other marital assets.
Statistics indicate that pet ownership has increased dramatically in recent years with nearly 180 million dogs and cats owned by U.S. citizens. Conflict over pets during the division of assets is significant for some because of the relationship and routine established as a pet is involved in family life. A 2013 New York case involving a major battle over custody of a couple's pet led to an approach based on the best interests for all concerned. The judge in the case appointed a single day in court for a hearing on the matter, at which issues such as custody, visitation and care were decided.