Even though pets are considered to be part of the family, they are considered to be property in the eyes of the law. Courts do not award joint custody of pets like they would for a child. Whoever bought the pet would be granted custody. This can be extremely difficult to cope with.
Sometimes it’s best to let your ex-spouse have possession of the dog because the animal will always remind you of him/her. Getting a new pet can be a great way to start a new life and help with some of the loneliness. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not living with someone (many people actually prefer it)! However, having a dog or cat eager to greet you when you’re out of work will ensure that you’re never truly alone.
I prefer to adopt dogs and cats from the shelter. However, that is not for everyone. If your buying a pet from a pet store there are some warranties mandated by the state of Massachusetts. All pet stores must be licensed and have that license displayed in view of the public. Veterinarians must examine all pets 7 days prior to purchase, and stores should not sell any pets they know to be ill. However, it is still going to happen. In Massachusetts, there is a warranty which requires the buyer to have his/her pet examined by a veterinarian no later than 14 days after purchase and allows the buyer to return the pet for a refund or a new pet as long as they have a notice from the veterinarian and do so within two days of the examination.