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Fighting like cats and dogs over spousal support for pets?

It is common for couples to argue over finances. During divorce, the chances of this happening may rise significantly. In California as across the country, being granted spousal support or child support is not unusual; however, an unusual request for spousal support to cover the costs associated with pet care is reported to be creating a sticking point in the divorce proceedings between singer Mandy Moore and her estranged husband, singer Ryan Adams.

While it appears that Adams has agreed to split the mortgage payments, a settlement has not yet been agreed for spousal support. Moore is requesting $37,000 per month, stating that her monthly income is around 25 per cent that of Adams. It is alleged that originally, Adams was supposed to take some of the couple's six cats and two dogs, but failed to do so. This has left Moore with sole responsibility of the pets which is reported to be overwhelming, and has also at times affected her professional commitments.

As yet, it appears that Adams has not responded on the subject of spousal support. While people see their pets as part of the family, courts typically view them as property. However, there is no doubt that there are costs involved with pet ownership. 

While family courts do not recognize pets in the same way as children, it may still make sense for California residents caught in a similar position to think of what is in the best interest of their pet/s. It is possible to have clauses included in settlement agreements to cover custody and care of any family pets, just as the parties would handle spousal support or child custody issues. These terms may cover so called pet custody and visitation, as well as who will be responsible for veterinary or other bills. 

Source:, "Mandy Moore Demands Spousal Support From Ex-Husband Ryan Adams To Feed Cats And Dogs", Dec. 19, 2015

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