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Pet Allergies and Parenting Plans

Will my parenting plan cover my child’s pet allergies?

Will the court take into consideration my child’s pet allergies when crafting a parenting plan? Absolutely. In general, the court has an affirmative duty to act in the best interest of the minor children. When the court orders a parenting plan, it will consider all issues that affect the child’s best interests, including any pet allergies.

One recent Fifth District Court of Appeals case dealt specifically with this issue. In Palmer v. Palmer, the parties minor child suffered from canine allergies. During the pendency of the case, the parties were very contentious. The parties disagreed about issues regarding the child’s health and whether the child should be exposed to dogs.

During the course of the case, several doctors testified about the minor child’s allergies to dogs, yet the trial court did not restrict the allergic child’s exposure to dogs. The appellate court found that this was an abuse of discretion and reversed the trial court’s order.

The appellate court went on to state:

The only issue that we find to be an abuse of the trial court’s discretion was the decision not to restrict the allergic child’s exposure to dogs. While dogs were one cause among several for the child’s allergies, every physician involved opined that the child should avoid canine exposure as much as possible. Despite the many benefits we acknowledge pets may offer, even Former Husband does not suggest that having the child around dogs at this point in his life is in the child’s best interest. Accordingly, we remand for entry of an order appropriately limiting the youngest child’s exposure to dogs.

It has been my experience that judges in Florida take issues like children’s allergies very seriously. If your child suffers from any sort of allergy, it is in your best interest to discuss this matter further with your family law attorney. It is recommended that these issues be dealt with in your parenting plan so that your child is not unnecessarily exposed to anything that causes allergic reactions.

If you have any questions regarding family law or require legal assistance in other areas of Family Law you may always contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at contact@themckinneylawgroup.com.

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