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Who Gets the Pet in a Divorce?

Published on January 12th, 2020

Divorce is no longer a process that just considers dividing money, the house, and who gets the children for a certain amount of time. Instead, “fur babies,” our loving pets, are now a very important part of a couple’s life and when it comes time to discuss who gets the pet in a divorce this subject can be almost as touchy as it is for couples discussing who gets the children for a certain amount of time. An experienced divorce lawyer, like a divorce lawyer in Austin, TX, knows that pets are a very important part of people’s lives and will want to make sure you get what is fair when it comes to your divorce. This can be an incredibly emotional time for you, and if your pet was ripped away it would only make it worse. To see how an attorney can help you with your divorce and to see what he or she can do about getting you your pet in your divorce, call a lawyer today. 

Can I act like my pet is a child during the divorce proceedings?
Unfortunately, while you may feel that your pet is part of your family, not all states agree with this. In fact, only a few states actually view pets to be part of the family and not property. This can come across as very hurtful because you may believe that your pet is a vital part of your life and is an animal who reciprocates love and takes care of you like you take care of them. However, attorneys often have to work with the law in dividing time with pets between the couple because they are “property.”

Determining Who Gets the Pet in a Divorce
Since most states have courts who view pets as property, you would then look to see how you should divide up your pet’s time like you would with any other piece of property. This can go a few ways and, unfortunately, lawyers have seen them all. 

  • You and your ex-spouse may choose to have “divided custody” of the pet and negotiate certain times you will each see them. 
  • Your ex-spouse is vindictive and the divorce is not amicable so they attempt to include the pet as part of their property just to keep the pet away from you. 
  • The divorce has been relatively amicable and there are no issues with the pet being declared part of your property. 

Any one of these scenarios can happen. If you decide to have divided custody of the pet, it is best to discuss paperwork that outlines different time frames regarding when you and your spouse will keep the pet. However, if your spouse is feeling vindictive and is not freely giving up the pet, it is important to determine what you are willing to exchange to have “custody” of your pet. 

Divorce proceedings do not always go smoothly. However, an attorney will care about getting you the results you want and want to ensure that you and your pet remain together after the divorce. Contact a law firm today to see how they can help with your case.

Call Gray & Becker, P.C. for their insight into who gets a pet after a divorce.

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