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If you get divorced, who gets your pet? 

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2022 | Divorce

In divorce, parents usually have to divide custody time with their children. There are situations in which sole custody is used, but shared custody is much more common. Parents have to figure out a schedule, and they have to work out the details of how to do the drop-offs and transfers.

At the same time, people who are getting divorced are often splitting up the property that they own. For those who don’t have children, this is probably the most important part of the whole process. They have acquired assets during the marriage, they both have a right to them, and they must determine how to divide them in accordance with the law.

If you’re getting divorced, you may be wondering how your pet fits into this equation. You and your spouse may have bought a family dog, for instance, right after you got married. If you get divorced, who gets the beloved pet?

Pets are property

A key thing to remember in a situation like this is that pets are counted as property under the law. This means that they are subject to property division rules, not custody rules.

This sometimes comes as a surprise to people who really feel like their pet is part of the family. If you were given another piece of property that had the same financial value, such as a dining room set, that certainly wouldn’t feel even or fair to you. But since your pet is property, that means that the court isn’t going to give you a custody order and force you to share time.

As you can see, things aren’t always defined the way you would expect in divorce cases. This is just part of the reason why it’s so important to understand all the legal options at your disposal.