When Going Through a Divorce, What Happens to Pets?

When Going Through a Divorce, What Happens to Pets?

September 22, 2015

Pets are considered part of the family, and are often times very much adored by their owners. In the family court, however, they aren’t exactly seen this way. Pets when being disputed for in courts consider dogs, cats and other beloved pets to be classified as personal property.

Pets are in the same category as your big screen television and your patio furniture, and the courts use the same procedure to figure out who gets to keep those items as they do your pets.

What courts consider

Unfortunately for couples going through a divorce, it is often times very difficult to come to an agreement on who should keep the family pet. When figuring out who is given custody of a family pet, courts often consider things such as the following:

  • Which person takes the most care of the pet and has time to provide food, exercise, grooming and company?
  • Who brings the pet to the vet when it gets sick?
  • Who is best capable of financially providing for the pet?

If possible, a couple going through a divorce should try their best to agree who gets the family pet without taking it all the way to court.

What parties involved should consider

Even though the courts consider a pet to be personal property, and pet owners know that a pet has feelings and needs that need to be fulfilled. Two parties fighting for custody should keep in mind the following:

  • Which person involved has the most time for the pet?
  • Are there children involved in the divorce? Divorce is very difficult on children without the loss of a beloved pet on top of it all. One solution many people come up with is having the pet, if it is a dog, go along with whatever custody arrangements are made for the children involved. Both parties, in this instance, then get to have a shared custody of the pet as well.

When going through a divorce and if pets are involved, it is important to tell your divorce lawyer that gaining custody of your pet is very important to you. He or she may not know this is such a priority. If you need help figuring out pet or child custody in Fort Wayne court, The Bellinger Law Office is here to help your situation. Call the office at 260-428-2214 to talk to an experienced custody and divorce attorney.

Guidance for Families


Meet Attorney

Robert H. Bellinger



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