When you get divorced, there are two things that you may need to think about. The first is child custody and the second is property division. These are not the only elements of a divorce case, of course, but they are two of the most significant ones.
One area in which things can get interesting is when a couple owns a pet. The couple may think of this as a custody situation, hoping that they get to share custody of the pet so that they can both see them after the divorce. But what is actually going to happen and how will the court look at this?
Your pet is property
To start with, it’s important to understand that the court will view your pet as property and not as a part of your family. Many pet owners do not share this perspective, but this is how pets are legally defined.
What this means is that the court is not going to set up a custody plan for you to share ownership of your pet on a set schedule, and they are not going to issue a binding court order to that effect. All they are going to do is decide which one of you gets to keep the pet. You can work out any details about sharing ownership or allowing visitation on your own, but the court will not do so. They view the pet the same way they would look at a car or a dining room table. They’re just going to try to divide assets properly, and the pet is one of the assets that will be allocated to you or your ex.
Cases like this can certainly get complicated, and it’s important to understand how the process works and what options you have.