In a divorce, the attorneys inventory assets, value assets and then divide assets. Once this is done they determine child support and spousal support, and issues of custody and/or companionship. So…who gets Fido?
More than a few times, the controversy in the divorce is the beloved pet. Can you do shared parenting for a pet? Well, it’s been done before, but typically not by a judge’s order, but instead by an agreement. And, even in an agreement such as this, one person may argue over the other person’s new wife/husband as being a shared caretaker. Typically, it becomes a no win situation, but possibly better than facing loss of your pet to your EX….Another painful loss for the person who loves the pet, and faces losing the pet (after already reeling from the loss of up to 50% of all assets, and losing daily time with the children).
Laws are created to protect the interest of children in a divorce, and while your pet feels like a solid and loved member of your family, the laws were not put together to determine the best interest of your pet!
Fido is considered PROPERTY. Therefore, the court can step in and award Fido to one owner over another, with testimony related to Fido during the full evidentiary trial for the divorce. So, after trial, someone will not be happy (remember that a Prenuptial Agreement could have considered pet ownership in the event of a divorce).
In any event, even if you and your soon to be EX cannot come to an agreement on other matters, perhaps this is ONE area that you can work out, so that you both do not lose time with Fido.
Joseph & Joseph, Co. LPA can work through this issue, as well as all of the other elements you will face in the termination of your marriage.
Also check out some of our more indepth Articles