When couples are breaking up sometimes their dog becomes the focus of a battle. This usually happens  when the couple breaking up don’t have any children or any children under the age of 18.

Dogs do become a member of your family and are taken care of and loved like children. Losing the dog that you have loved can be devastating. Going through a divorce or breakup is emotionally devastating enough without losing your “friend”  or “pal” who gave you unconditional love.

Losing your dog can in some ways be more emotionally devastating than losing custody of a child. It can make the devastation of a divorce or breakup even worse.

Usually an agreement can be reach with a lawyer or mediator because a court battle can be financially prohibitive. If a couple does end up in court, it’s usually for revenge.

Although courts consider pets property and rule in favor of whomever owned the dog (which can be established by proof of payment or primary caretaker status), in 2013 a judge ruled in favor of the dog’s best interestsomething usually used in child-custody decisions.

Some divorces or breakups are amicable and no lawyers or mediators are necessary. The couples work out the joint custody arrangements for their dog themselves…