Pet owners in Colorado often view their four-legged friends as much more than just another animal. More and more often, pets are considered to be members of the family and take part in a wide range of celebrations from birthday parties to Christmas presents. Their elevated rank also means that their role in divorce has evolved over the years, with pet custody often a rising issue for many couples. Less addressed, however, is how those pets should be financially supported.
Actress and singer Mandy Moore filed for divorce from Ryan Adams -- a fellow musician -- in Jan. 2015. Although the couple never had any children together, from the time they said "I do" in 2009 until they decided to separate, the two accumulated eight different pets. It is not entirely clear if either party came into the marriage already owning a pet, but Moore is currently caring for all eight as the divorce proceedings continue.
With a monthly income that amounts to only about a quarter of Adams', Moore has requested that she not only receive spousal support, but also pet support. The exact amount of requested alimony is not known, but Moore claims that she requires $37,000 per month in order to financially care for the animals. Her petition also requests that Adams be held responsible for four pets.
There does not appear to be any standing precedence for pet support, especially since pets are still viewed as property and not family members under Colorado family law. However, this is not to indicate that two parties cannot negotiate a pet custody or even support agreement between themselves. Mediation is often a powerful tool for divorcing couples to utilize in order to reach an agreeable divorce settlement without having to proceed to court, where a judge might be more inclined to simply view a beloved animal as property.
Source: breitbart.com, "Actress Mandy Moore Asks Ex Ryan Adams to Pay 'Pet Support' in Divorce Documents", Kipp Jones, Dec. 12, 2015