Ask The Hairy Dogfathers: Doggy Custody Arrangements
Breaking up is hard to do – especially when dogs are involved. What are a couple of exs-to-be do when both want to keep the dogs? The Hairy Dogfathers have the answers.
Help us Hairy Dogfathers!
My husband and I are splitting up for good. We are just at different places in our lives. Now, here’s where things are getting tricky – we have two dogs that we adopted together. We both want the dogs, just not each other. He says I work too much to be able to take care of the dogs, and I know that he simply does not have the finances to take care of the dogs properly. Should we lawyer up, or is there another solution?
Signed, Soon to be Single
I’m sad to hear about the breakup but glad to hear your thinking about the dogs’ welfare. One solution that sounds simple would be to each take one, but unless you have each closely and bonded with different dogs I would not recommended. Even though a human breakup is sad, I find it even sadder when dogs who have lived their whole lives together split, especially considering they don’t have any choice in the matter. My advice is to talk it out, try to put your differences aside and figure out what’s best for the dogs. There are a lot of options, including joint custody. If you can’t resolve it amicably, then you probably won’t be able to agree on who gets the big TV, car, etc. anyways so it’s totally fair to include it as part of the divorce proceedings.
Sorry to say, but multiple dogs are expensive. Can this be talked though? Joint custody is messy and confusing for dogs and humans alike. I suggest that you hire a lawyer, and do everything to keep your dogs. If you can solve this without legal advice, great!
Now, he says that you work too much? Well, dogs are great at getting us to do the things that are good for us. Walks in the woods, cuddles on the couch, and playdates at the dog park and are all good for the soul and the blood pressure. You’ll be forced to make time in the schedule to enjoy your life and your dogs too!
Hire a reliable dog walker for the days you have to be at work. Your ex can still love the dogs, and maybe one day the two of you can get together for a walk or something with the pups. But stick to the lawyer, not to stick it to your ex, but to ensure that the best things happen for the dogs.