While many people consider pets to be a part of their family, during the divorce process they are considered property. If the pet was acquired during the marriage, then it is considered marital and if the pet is acquired before the marriage then the pet is separate property. Pets cannot be equitably divided so, it will have to be decided which party will retain ownership and responsibility of the pet. This is not a custody battle and there will be no parenting plan dictating who gets the dog on during the week and on the weekends. Pets can be a highly contested matter and one party may take advantage and use the pet as a bargaining tool. Even though a pet is considered property it is important to consider too the emotional impact the divorce will have the pet and the best interest of the pet. An article by the Huffington Post with an issues specialist from the Humane Society addresses the topic of pets and divorce. Who Gets The Pets In a Divorce? What You Need to Consider When Fighting Over Fido By: Maria Moya This article gives the owners indicators to look for in their pets to see if they are suffering from emotional distress due to the divorce. Also, it gives the owner ways to help the pet cope with the negative impacts of the divorce.
Factors to Consider
Here are some factors to consider when deciding who should retain ownership of the pet:
If you are considering going through a divorce, give us a call toll-free at 866-527-2630 to set up a consultation with one of our experienced Marietta Family Law Attorneys.