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How to Divide Pets in a Divorce

Tuesday, July 07, 2015
How to Divide Pets in a Divorce

One of your most precious possessions can also be one of the most difficult to divide during a divorce. There are established guidelines and precedents for the division of all assets including the house, cars, investment funds, retirement assets, and all kinds of other assets in a marriage. However, pets are more like members of the family than possessions, and very often, there are legal disputes about who gets to walk out with the pet.

It is not uncommon to have situations in one spouse will get custody of the pet while the other will have visitation. In fact, this is often how it turns out. In determining which person gets custody of the pet, you may have to consider which person has taken on more caretaking responsibilities for the pet and therefore, has bonded with the pet better. Speak to a Los Angeles family lawyer to determine how best to protect your rights to your pet.

Another strategy is to simply avoid all of these legal disputes by mentioning that your pets will stay with you in a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement can be used for a variety of reasons, and one of those reasons is to prevent any contentious dispute over gets to walk out with the pets during the divorce. Clearly establish in the prenuptial that you will get to keep the pet which you brought into the marriage.

Also understand that courts very often don't want about to be brought into these disputes. The judicial system is overburdened, and judges are not too happy when they are asked to rule on a matter involving who gets to keep Fido. It's best to avoid going to court, and focus on resolving these issues with the help of your attorney.


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