PET PEEVES: A Different Kind of Custody Issue for Divorce Mediation

Mediating custody of pets

There’s no doubt about it, America’s really gone to the dogs—and to the cats, hamsters, and goldfish, too. Americans spend some $5.4 billion annually on their pets. (We’re not the only ones—according to a survey conducted in the U.K., 7 out 10 lucky British dogs receive Christmas presents from their owners.)

Americans are clearly very devoted to their pets. Therefore it’s not surprising to learn that when couples divorce, one of the wrenching decisions that must be made is determining custody of beloved pets, according to an article in today’s Boston Globe by pet expert Gina Spadafori.

This is one of those emotionally charged issues that a mediator can help a couple discuss in a constructive way to make sure that the transition will go more smoothly for everyone involved—the couple themselves, the children, and the pets. And it’s better to make your own decisions about something so important than to leave it in the hands of a judge who may be allergic to cats, hates dogs, and doesn’t appreciate the special bond you share with your four-legged friend.

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