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What happens to your pet during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Family Law

The family pet has been a big part of your life for the last 10 years. It’s been a big part of your children’s lives and your spouse’s life. You’ve all grown to become very attached.

Now, this is a problem because you and your spouse are talking about getting a divorce. You know that you have to figure out the custody of the children after your marriage ends, but what are you supposed to do with your pet? 

Technically, pets are property

The first place to start is by remembering that your pet is technically property under the law. One way to look at this is that your pet is simply an asset that you own that has a set financial value, the same as a refrigerator or a couch. If the two of you can’t agree on what to do and the court has to help you divide your assets, your pet will just be one of the assets that is given to either you or your ex.

Of course, you probably don’t think of your pet as property. But that’s why it’s so important for you and your spouse to talk about this and see if you can figure out a solution so that the court doesn’t have to rule. They’re not going to set up a custody plan for your pet. You’re allowed to do that if you’d like, and many people will set up a plan that corresponds with the custody exchanges for the children so that the kids can still get to see their beloved pet.

But the court is not obligated to do that, so you need to take this step beforehand. That’s why you need to know about all of the legal options that you have during the division of your marital property and exactly how to get things in place.