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What happens to a pet during a divorce case?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2022 | divorce

Divorce cases can get very complicated because married couples have such intertwined lives. They have children together, they’ve purchased assets together, and they need to work together to divide up all of these things as they go their separate ways. The longer that you’ve been married, the more difficult this is.

One way that this can play out is when a couple owns a pet together. What are they supposed to do when they get divorced? Does the pet need to be put on the custody schedule, as you would do with a child, or does the pet simply go with one person or the other?

Pets are legally property

The second option listed above is the one that the court would use. They would give the pet to you or to your ex. You will not get a custody schedule.

The reason that they do this is that your pet is property. When you ask the court to divide your assets, they will try to find a fair method of division. This can mean dividing things up so that you get an even split of marital assets.

But the court doesn’t look at your pet as a part of the family or something that you both care about. It just looks at it as an asset with a certain monetary value. A kitchen table that costs $1.000 has the same value as a dog that costs $1,000.

Exploring your options

As you can imagine, this may not be the ideal solution for you, especially if you were hoping to share time with your pet. You certainly think of it as a family member, not a monetary asset. There are other options that you can use, so just make sure you know what legal steps to take during the divorce.