Pet Custody

What happens to your family pets following a relationship breakdown can be a cause of extreme stress and worry. Many people regard their pets as members of the family and are surprised to learn that courts generally consider them to be mere possessions.

Pet Custody Mediation

Unlike with children, the family courts here have no requirement to consider the welfare of a pet or the pet’s wishes and feelings if you divorce or separate. Because pets are viewed as property, not sentient beings, court disputes over pet custody may not always be resolved in the best interests of the animal. A Judge could even rule that your beloved pet is sold and the proceeds split between you, if you cannot agree on ownership.

Pet custody mediation can assist you in agreeing arrangements for your pets with your ex-partner using similar principles to those often used in child arrangement disputes. 

The Family Mediation Clinic understands the emotional impact losing contact with a loved pet can have. We will work with you both to help you come to an agreement on how to move forward.

Once agreements have been made, with the welfare of your pet in mind we will provide you with a summary statement documenting what has been discussed which you both sign. This can cover who they live with, when the other person can see them, where contact might take place and who is responsible for the pet’s up-keep, including vets’ bills and insurance.

To book an appointment regarding mediation for pet arrangements please contact us.

Who we help

We help families, couples, and individuals with a range of issues including:

Have an issue outside these areas? Speak to our team to see how we can help.

Pet Custody FAQs

What is pet custody mediation and how does it work?

Pet custody mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps pet owners resolve disputes about their pets following separation or divorce.

My ex and I are not on speaking terms. Can we still use mediation to work out our pet’s custody?

Yes. We work with all our clients in the way that is most suitable for them. If you do not wish to talk with each other, we can use online shuttle mediation, where you are both in separate breakout rooms and the mediator/s goes back and forth between you to help you negotiate an agreement.

Is pet custody mediation legally binding?

Pet custody mediation is not legally binding, meaning that the agreements reached in mediation are not set in stone. However, if needed, the agreements can be enforced through the court system.

Find out more about how pet custody battles can turn nasty by clicking here.