Joint Custody…What happens when it’s over?

Who gets the pet?
As some of you may know, I’ve had joint custody of Nero with his dad now for 2 years. Initially there was an adjustment for all of us but once the routine was set, it was all roses. Nero had two homes and twice the individual attention. You could say he had the best of both worlds or did he really?

Usually Nero had about two weeks at one home and then the other. Everything was smooth sailing. He had made new friends at my place and one has turned out to be his girlfriend. Sophie is a pretty little thing and very precocious (I might add slightly high maintenance but that’s no reflection on Nero’s conditioning – meaning me! Lol). His other friend is a very cool dude, a cat named Vinnie. He often goes to Vinnie’s home to play and hang out. Nero tells me that Vinnie’s mummy sometimes feeds him too, I thought he had put on a bit of weight. However Vinnie is not yet allowed into our home, Nero’s choice!

At Nero’s dad’s place, his backyard is adjacent to a golf course and the cliffs. He can roam around like crazy with his kitty kat gang (and boy is there a gang there), this was his first home since we had him.

So the last time I went to pick up Nero, he ran away from me – first time EVER! I was shocked and asked him what was wrong? Nero then proceeded to tell me that he only wanted one home now as he finds it very unsettling. So I asked which place he considers home – it was his first home, much to my dismay.

He still refused to come to me so I went to a nearby coffee shop and talked to him about options. Nero made a point of telling me that he loved both of us but again said he wanted one home. I told him I would talk to his dad and let him know and see how he feels about the situation. I also made a request to him. I asked if would he please come with me now, as it may be our last time together. He agreed. With a heavy heart I went to pick up my favourite black cat in the world.

Back at my place, he slipped into the normal routine there and played with his friends. It took me a week to be brave enough to contact his dad and fill him in on Nero’s request. As Nero’s dad reflected on the situation, he mentioned that Nero had been unsettled at his place too. He said it might be due to his work schedule. Travelling a lot and working late nights and that it may not be ideal for him to have Nero full time. So what suited us as furry parents, wasn’t suiting Nero.

A decision was made and he was come and live with me full time. In event of holidays, his dad was open to having him. All I had to do now was convince Nero that this was the best solution to his request. So after a week of expressing all the positives about living with his mum and having full time access to his girlfriend Sophie and his mate Vinnie, Nero was nearly back to himself. Strutting around the hood and slinking his way back into Sophie’s good books (she never liked the way he would leave and in her mind neglect her – I told you, ‘high maintenance!’).

It was such an emotional roller coaster to say goodbye to my furry little guy and follow through on his request. Then, for everything to turn around and have him live with me full time all within a week. However for me, it was a profound experience in how to let go.

Not all experiences work out in this manner – I would love to hear how you would handle similar circumstances.

1 reply
  1. Alojamiento
    Alojamiento says:

    The bottom line, when you distill all these factors down to one word, it s what I said earlier. It s trust. This judge has to feel in their heart that you are the person that they can trust to raise this child. And that s what it takes to win a child custody case.


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