When people divorce, no matter if they live in California or another part of the United States, they know they are faced with a long process that can entail questions about property division and child custody. As of late, a growing number of couples find themselves fighting over pets in divorce. Similar to a child custody battle, this happens when both parties decide that they want to take ownership of the pet.
With more and more Americans spending a lot of money on pets, it is only natural that this would be brought to light during a divorce case. This is particularly true in the event that one party feels they have spent more — time, money or both — on the pet over the years.
Although many people treat their pets just as well as their children, the law does not look at things the same way. Pets are considered things in the divorce process, meaning that they are decided upon in the same manner as material possessions, such as household goods and jewelry.
Experts suggest that anybody who goes into a marriage with a pet and does not want to face these issues down the road in the event of a divorce should address this situation in a prenuptial agreement. This will ensure that there is no gray area if the marriage dissolves.
During a divorce, both parties will fight to get what is theirs. In a growing number of cases, this means a custody battle over pets. By having a legal representative take care of pet ownership and/or visitation in a prenup, you won’t have to worry about dealing with Fido in the case of a divorce.
Source: The Daily Beast, “Divorce Is Going to the Dogs, Literally” Keli Goff, Jun. 20, 2014