Advocacy for your family’s bright future.

Your pet is legally property

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Property Division |

Most pet owners will tell you that their pets are part of the family. They have a close bond with each other. This is something that has been changing over time. Pets used to be seen as helpful workers on the farm, for instance, but more and more people now have them as companions or sources of emotional support. This has altered how people think about and treat their pets in the modern era.

However, regardless of these changing perceptions, pets are still legally property that people own. This can become very important when two pet owners decide to get divorced. At that time, the way they each view the pet becomes exceedingly important. 

What happens to the pet during divorce?

The issue is that the couple, thinking of the pet as part of their family, may want a child custody solution. They want to share the pet on a consistent rotating schedule. They think that the court will help them set this up. After all, the court can do so for parents who are dividing custody rights. 

But the court is not going to do so for pet owners. Instead, the pet will just be given to one person or the other, as are other tangible assets. If your dog was originally a $1,000 investment, you may be allowed to keep the pet while your spouse gets another asset that costs a similar amount, for instance.

You can imagine how contentious this becomes. That’s why it’s so important for pet owners to know about all of their legal options when they end a marital relationship. You don’t want to risk losing contact with your pet that you love.