How can family mediation help with who gets the dog?

Family Mediation is known for supporting couples with financial settlements writes Michelle Rumsey and childcare arrangements. As family mediators our roles are not isolated to only financial and children, we incorporate a wide range of other areas.  One area in particular that has increased over the years is the family dog and ‘Who gets the dog?’.  Dogs are part of the family and may people find the way the court approaches the as possessions to be unsatisfactory and not in keeping with how the dog is viewed within the family.  In family mediation you can address any issues that are important to you, regardless of whether these would be dealt with by a court.

Family Mediation can be a helpful tool to find a resolution that considers the best interest of all parties involved, including the well-being of the dog.

During family mediation, the mediator will facilitate a discussion between the parties involved to explore their interests, concerns, and possible solutions regarding the ownership of the dog. The mediator will encourage open communication, active listening, and respectful dialogue to help the parties understand each other’s perspectives.

In the case of a dispute over the dog, several factors may be considered during mediation, including,

  1. Care and suitable living for the dog
  2. Attachment and relationships with the dog. Emotional bond with the dog and who the dog has spent most of their time with.
  3. The party’s ability to meet the financial commitment of the dog and how these will be met.
  4. Lifestyle and availability, living arrangements and working hours.
  5. Childrens emotional attachment to the dog and the impact this has on everyone involved.

Ultimately, the goal of family mediation is to reach a mutually agreeable solution that looks at the best interests of all the parties involved, including the dog. The mediator will help look at all solutions, for example shared care, visiting the dog, holidays. Ensuring the welfare of the dog is considered at all times.

Michelle Rumsey