Division of property is always difficult during a divorce, but it can be even more challenging when it comes to dealing with a family dog. While you view your dog as a member of your family, the court will view your family dog the same way they view other property, like furniture, cars or jewelry. Recently, courts have begun to shift in the way they handle dogs in a divorce. Because dogs are a big part of our lives, some courts are beginning to treat pets more like children and have awarded shared custody and visitation schedules.
The court may consider factors such as who takes care of the dog, whose schedule allows sufficient time to care for the dog, and who pays for the dog’s care. The court will also take into consideration if there is a prenuptial agreement with regards to the dog or if you purchased your dog prior to the marriage, making the dog your separate property. If keeping your pet is important to you, it is important to discuss your options with a divorce lawyer immediately.