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Does having a family pet or large home matter for custody?

You and your spouse are divorcing, and you want to make sure you have the best chance of obtaining primary custody of your child. You know that the home and its layout matters to your case, but what about the family pet?

The living accommodations you have prepared for your child could make a difference in your case. For instance, if you have a two-bedroom home, you'd have a room for your child and you separately. That would be acceptable by most courts. Another thing to consider is if you have a pet. Is your child allergic? That could backfire and hurt your chances of obtaining custody unless you're willing to rehome the pet quickly. Do you have the pet your child wants to live with? That could help your child speak out and say where he or she wants to live and why to the judge.

A child's ability to adjust to a new situation is important to your custody case. If your child is comfortable with moving into new situations, the judge may not place as much emphasis on who has the family pet or where the other siblings live at the moment. On the other hand, if your child has difficulty adjusting to new situations, the judge may wish to keep your child with his or her siblings, pet or the parent who primarily cares for him or her at home presently. The judge may also consider the size of your new home compared to the home you shared with your spouse; if your child doesn't do well in small spaces and your home is small while your spouse's is large and private, that could create a problem for you.

Source: The Spruce, "Child Custody and Living Accommodations for Single Parents," Debrina Washington, accessed Nov. 29, 2017

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Brett K. Duncan & Co.
500 E. Morris Avenue
Hammond, LA 70403

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