Photo of the firm's office exterior

In a divorce, who gets the dog?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2022 | Divorce |

You have a lot of different things to decide when you’re getting a divorce, such as how you’re going to split up custody time with your children and how you’re going to divide your assets. It’s crucial to know about all the options that you have as you consider these different areas.

For dog owners, one of the biggest questions may simply be who gets the family pet. Is this decided similarly to child custody, where you may have to share ownership? Or is it more like property division, where one person gets the dog and the other one does not?

If you can’t agree, it becomes property division

As a general rule, the court is going to view this as property division. The dog is simply a piece of property that you and your spouse purchased. You can determine how this is going to be divided. For instance, the court may order that you get the dog and your spouse gets something else with a similar value.

As you can imagine, many couples are not thrilled about this. They don’t think of the dog in the same way that the court does. They feel like it’s a member of the family that needs to be addressed in a custody arrangement. While the court will not order one person to have custody of the dog at certain times, you and your spouse may be able to agree on your own custody situation. For instance, you may simply share the dog, with each person having it every other week.

Navigating a complicated divorce.

Issues like this can make divorce more complicated than it would be otherwise, and that’s why it’s very important to understand all of your rights and your options.