If you and your spouse haven't been getting along for several months and have decided to separate for a while to determine if divorce proceedings will be in both parties best interest, choosing how to split time with your pet dog and who should be the primary caregiver may be at the top of your list of priorities. The following advice can be used to help you and your partner share responsibilities associated with your furry friend.
Consider Swapping Weekends And Alter Schedules
If you or your spouse will be remaining in the home that both of you share and your pet has grown accustomed to their environment and daily schedule, choosing to keep your pet in its current location is best. Supporting the other person while they are transitioning to a new home and reassuring them that they will maintain equal ownership of the pet can help tremendously during this trying time.
Attempt to create a schedule that will allow you and your partner to spend alternate weekends with the dog. If scheduling conflicts arise, agree to alter plans so that the other person won't feel as if their time with the pet is being compromised.
Spend Time With Your Pet In A Neutral Location
If one of the factors that has led you and your spouse's separation is due to feeling pressured while inside of the marital home and not being able to voice opinions without being criticized, speak to your spouse about attempting to let go of the past while spending time playing with your pet in a neutral location. Choose times that both of you are free and make plans to meet at a local park or downtown area.
Before meeting, both of you need to agree to not rehash the past during a meeting and to focus attention on the family pet. While at a park, you and your spouse can take turns throwing a ball to your dog or running around with them in a field. If you both decide to meet in a spot downtown, the person who is transporting the pet should bring a collar and leash with them so that you and your partner can take your pet for a walk.
Meet With A Lawyer And Set Up An Appointment With A Mediator
If communication issues persist and you and your spouse can't agree upon a schedule that will allow both of you to spend time with your dog, meet with a lawyer to discuss ways to open up the lines of communication so that a fair agreement can be made. A lawyer may suggest that you make an appointment with a mediator. A mediator is a professional who will meet with you and your spouse together and will allow each of you to voice their concerns.
After speaking, a mediator will shed some light on what they believe is the best way to handle the situation. They will encourage both of you to form an agreement that will benefit both parties and your pet. For more information, contact a divorce lawyer.