By Sara Pitcher
Financial support is rarely awarded in animal custody cases because of the continuing contact required between the parties and the drain enforcement would be on judicial resources, similar to visitation cases.
One example of the drain on court resources and an unsuccessful attempt at support and visitation was seen in Dickson v. Dickson.
In that case, the parties agreed to joint custody of their dog, with primary custody to the wife and reasonable visitation to the husband. The court ordered the husband to pay $150 a month for the care and maintenance of the dog.
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After a change in circumstances, the parties went back to court where the judge ordered the wife to have the sole care and custody of the dog, with the husband having no further interest in the dog, but also no further liability.
Based on the difficulties with enforcement and the toll that continued supervision over animal financial support cases would take, it is easy to see why so few courts have undertaken the challenge of awarding support.