Extending Your Student Visa

A student visa that lets you study at the university of your choice is a terrific thing for you. But what happens if your studies take longer than you planned? On top of exams and term papers, you may have to worry about your student visa expiring. That’s where an immigration lawyer can be your best friend. Understanding how immigration laws work can be the first step to making sure that you keep your student visa in good standing. My blog is all about immigration issues, especially those faced by foreign students. Check out the articles for more information that you can use to complete your studies in the country you chose to study in.

Pets And Divorce: Five Important Factors To Keep In Mind

Law Articles

Divorce is an unpleasant event, and battles over property and child custody rights contribute to the emotional upheaval and distress for those involved. In order to bring resolution and clarity to these situations, the legal codes in all fifty states are filled with procedures that address these sensitive issues. However, one area not specifically addressed in family law statutes, but still fully capable of being a catalyst for conflict in divorce cases, is how pets are to be distributed among the participants.

As such, much of the responsibility for finding a clear resolution depends upon the divorcing spouses themselves. Here are five factors to keep in mind when making decisions about pets:

The presence of children

As with all divorces that involve children under the age of 18, the welfare and long-term stability of the children is paramount. Parents have a responsibility to consider what will happen if their children are separated from a favorite pet. Pet "visitation" may be an acceptable compromise in some circumstances, but keep in mind that pets such as cats and other animals that require special cages or housing may not travel well. That will mean some pets need to reside with the child's custodial parent throughout the year.

Age and health of pet

Another important consideration when deciding what to do with pets is their age and health status. Pets advanced in age may not respond well to a permanent move to a new home. Sick pets often will need to remain close to familiar veterinarian for treatment. In addition, pets that are allergy-prone may not need to transition to a new location if it means a change in climate or geography.

While these considerations don't rule-out a move to a new location, the physical and emotional stress of the pet is still important to keep in mind.

Pet's original owner

If a pet's ownership precedes a marriage, then the logical step is for the original owner to maintain possession of the animal. However, there are occasions when following this rule-of-thumb may not be the ideal move. For example, some pets may grow closer to the spouse, and this shifting emotional bond should not be ignored.

As always, the totality of the circumstances should be evaluated; changes in loyalty and affection over the course of the marriage may make this a non-factor.

Financial value of pet

Though not a "warm-and-fuzzy" concern, the financial aspects regarding a pet's value should not be ignored. Since states recognize pets as property in divorce situations, this particular issue can be contentious for everyone involved if the dollar amounts are high.

Even though other factors that have been mentioned above should be kept on the same level of importance, the reality is dollars and cents do make a difference. Pets can be financially valuable for several reasons including pedigree, breeding ability, or rarity. Don't allow the emotional impact of a pet to overshadow the financial impact that will be made after the divorce is finalized.

Utility of pet

Related to the financial value but still separate, the utility of a pet refers to its contributory value to a home beyond its companionship. For example, a Doberman Pinscher dog may not be merely a loving family pet, it may also be a vital protector of the home and property. As another example, some pets are utilized as photographic props for professional photographers. In these situations, it should be judged by the participants in the divorce as to who will be harmed the most if a pet transitions from its current location and duties.

Judges prefer not to make decisions regarding the disposition of pets; if they are forced by the parties' inability to decide, judges will often use property laws as the basis for decision-making. This is usually not the best resolution for the parties involved since it only considers the financial importance of an animal; that's why you should remember the importance of compromise and the give-and-take involved in making sure pets are treated with dignity and respect.

Your lawyer, like one from The Law Office Of James R. Kennedy Jr., can assist you.


20 January 2015