Pets are like beloved members of the family to most people. That’s why deciding who gets custody of the pets after a divorce can be so emotionally trying. It’s best for you and your ex to come to an agreement on your own, and PetMD offers the following information on how to do so.

Keep your children in mind

If your ex-spouse has primary physical custody, you might consider leaving the pets at home. While it can be painful for you to let go of your dog or cat, your children are bound to take the loss much harder. When you miss your pet, ask your kids to bring him along during visits. That way you can all spend quality time together and enjoy each other’s company.

Don’t uproot your pets

Some animals are more amenable to change than others. Moving homes can be incredibly stressful in this case, especially if your cat or dog is terrified of car rides. You should also consider any changes in your work schedule that could prove traumatic for your pet, especially if she’s accustomed to constant attention. Although you’ll certainly miss them, you want to do what’s best for their well-being.

Don’t make decisions out of spite

Divorce can lead to a lot of bad choices, especially when there is must resentment between exes. It can be tempting to make decisions out of spite in this case, which may even involve the pets if you know your ex cares deeply for them. While considered property for the purposes of divorce court, animals are much more than just objects. If you believe that a pet would be better off in your care, you must take steps to show that to the court. However, think about the reasoning behind your decisions before you create a divorce strategy.