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Is your pet a central focus in your divorce?

Many Colorado residents consider themselves Hollywood fans and have been following the ups and downs of the personal lives of their favorite TV and movie stars. You'd likely be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't heard or read something about the ongoing challenges Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been facing regarding their children after the two decided to divorce.  

Not all celebrity custody battles are about children, however. If you own a dog, cat or other pet, you understand that humans often love their fur companions as members of their own families. That's why when divorce occurs, some people encounter contentious pet custody situations. Some judges approach pet disputes as asset disagreements while others have started handling such issues as custody matters.  

You may relate to these celebrities

When all is said and done, celebrities are regular people, just like everyone else. When their personal lives are in upheaval, they feel stress and heartache just like you or any other non-famous person might. In recent news, the following celebrities have reportedly been having legal trouble related to their pet companions and divorce:  

  • Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas are co-parents as well as former co-pet owners. The couple disagreed about who should get to keep the three dogs they shared during marriage, and some say they think Melanie won out although the results of the situation have never been published.
  • Kristen Stewart gave in to Robert Pattinson's request to keep the two dogs they adopted while they were dating. Gossip columnists speculated that Stewart relented as an act of goodwill to show that she was sorry for having been unfaithful to Pattinson.
  • Johnny Depp and Amber Heard got in trouble in Australia when they took their puppies there but forgot to register them with customs. The same dogs became a central focus of the couple's divorce, and the situation was ultimately resolved with Heard keeping the dogs as well as a horse.
  • During Kevin Federline and Britney Spears' divorce, Federline sued for custody of their pets when animal rights activists urged him to do so. They claimed they were concerned that Spears's lifestyle was not conducive to the dogs' well-being.  

Your divorce may not be plastered across media headlines; however, that doesn't mean your pet custody problems are any less traumatic than those experienced by Hollywood celebrities. Just as in all child-related matters in divorce, the judge overseeing your case will decide who gets your pet if you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on your own. You'll want to make sure you understand Colorado property division and custody laws before entering proceedings.

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