We Got Divorced and She Took My Dog

When a relationship ends there is a lot of focus on the pain and strain of separation and divorce, as well as negotiating parenting plans, child visitation rights, and the division of property, assets, and liabilities. Of course, all of these things are extremely important, but what about the pets law? Who gets to keep the family’s beloved cat or dog?

Many people these days think of their pets as furry little children. They are just as important as any other family member and are treated as such.

What happens if one partner had a pet before the relationship started? Are they within their rights to keep that pet once the relationship dissolves? And what about pets that were acquired during the course of the relationship? Who has legal rights to those pets? Do you need a “Petnup”?

For people who don’t keep pets, it probably sounds rather trivial in the overall scheme of things, but for those who adore their pets and are avid cat or dog lovers, this is a big deal that needs to be resolved with the best possible outcome.

As far as the law goes, pets law are not treated the exact same way as children are in a relationship or divorce. Pets are treated as “assets”, just like a boat or a car. Yes, it doesn’t sound very personal or endearing, but that’s how pets are viewed under the current laws.