Who keeps the pets?
Although you treat your pets as family members, the Massachusetts courts considers pets as property. A judge will only decide who "owns" your pets after divorce. Spouses cannot request court mandated visitation with their pets. Any attempts to include a visitation arrangement in your agreement will likely be stricken. The judge does not have any authority to enforce it.
The costs associated with maintaining pets can be expensive - medications, grooming, boarding, veterinary care and prescription diets. Mediator Kaplan is creative and has successfully included allocation of those expenses in Separation Agreements that were then approved by judges. She has also assisted with informal arrangements about shared custody. To learn more about her services: www.jrkaplanlaw.com In-person appointments are offered in Norwell, Braintree and Quincy. Zoom teleconferences and 3-way telephone calls/conferences are also options. The first 1/2 hour of your fee is waived.