Lockdown is creating a surge in dog custody battles in the UK, a family law firm has warned, with enquiries up by 250%.
Dog adoptions have soared during lockdown as couples spend increasing lengths of time at home, a factor that simultaneously led to unprecedented levels of couples divorcing during the pandemic.
The data from national solicitors firm Richard Nelson LLP, comparing August 2020 to January 2021, shows a 290% increase in traffic to their dog custody services as couples dispute over who will care for their dog.
|Increase from Aug 20’ to Jan 21’|
In preparation for a surge in battles over dog custody post-lockdown, the chain of national solicitors launched a custody service dedicated to our furry friends during the pandemic.
Explaining the inspiration behind the service, Hardeep Dhillion, Consultant Solicitor of Family Law at Richard Nelson LLP, said:
“We have seen a surge in divorce enquiries during lockdown as where problems already exist in a relationship, the stress and uncertainty of Coronavirus has put a strain on relationships. For couples who decided to invest in a pet during the first lockdown, this then becomes a serious area for concern where both parties wish to keep and care for their pet.
“The custody battle for pets is challenging and partners will be relying on their dogs heavily for support during this period of isolation. We aim in the course of the Divorce Proceedings to finalise issues surrounding the arrangements for the family dog or any other pet and hope to avoid costs escalating unnecessarily”
Commending on divorces and how they can impact the wellbeing of dogs, Nick Jones MA, Dog Behaviourist said:
“Divorce or relationship breakups are stressful enough for humans and at times it is unavoidable that the dog remains with one of the couple, or in worst case situations is rehomed altogether. This can leave the dog feeling displaced and unsettled and for some dogs, this effect may be devastating as the dog tries to adapt to its new circumstances in day to day living.”
To find out more about the service, visit the site here.