Monday, April 28, 2014

Going through divorce: What about my pets?

Pets are like family for many of us and can be a very sensitive subject during the divorce.  While we may treat our pets like children, the courts will not.  The courts look at pets as property to be distributed in the same way as the home, a 401(k) or your boat.  This means, if you have to fight in court over this, you will need to think of your pet as property in order for you to have coherent arguments for why the court should award you the pet.

However, as with everything else in a divorce, you and your spouse can agree to whatever arrangements you would like.  You can agree that you each get one of the dogs.  You can agree that you move the dogs back and forth from week to week or month to month.  Or maybe you agree that one of you will keep the pets, but will allow the other person to have certain amounts of time with the pets.  You can agree on who will pay for vet bills, dog food and dog toys.  If you can agree, you can make it happen.  For many people, because of the sensitive nature of pets, it is better for them to come to an agreement that makes everyone at least somewhat happy, rather than allow the court to award the pet as property to one spouse or the other.

If you are thinking about divorcing or currently going through a divorce and would like a consultation, please contact us at (804) 447-0146 or clbaudean@baudeanlaw.com.