Remember the Pets!

The beloved family dogs or cats are often overlooked in a divorce. I think it is really important to address the family pets upfront in mediation or during the divorce. Couples are often focused on the emotions of divorce, deciding how to split assets, determining the parenting schedule, and perhaps having panic attacks over cash flow. Their pets are often the very last thing divorcing couples want to consider, if they even think about them at all. After all, they are just animals, right? Actually dog trainers and animal experts tell me that family pets are extremely sensitive and easily affected by their owners’ emotions. Studies indicate that many pets (especially dogs) are extremely tuned into their owners’ emotions. Moreover, changes in the environment, such as one person frequently away, loud arguments between their owners, receiving less attention and other disruptions may have an impact on a pet. Dogs, especially, may become lonely, depressed or anxious. If behavioral issues result, the owners may want to consider consulting with their veterinarian. In the worst case, one owner may not be able to keep pet because of cash flow problems, and might need to find the pet another home, or leave them with an animal shelter. Talk about depressing!

About wendy

Wendy W. Spencer, CFP, CDFA is a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and a family law mediator who helps divorcing individuals, couples, and families to review and obtain more sensible settlement options. Ms. Spencer also helps these families to resolve their differences through mediation and/or participation in the collaborative divorce process. For the convenience of clients throughout the Denver metro area, Ms. Spencer has two offices - one in Arvada and one in Southeast Denver.
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