Do you have custody rights over your dog?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2022 | Family Law And Divorce

You and your spouse are getting a divorce, and so you know that you are going to have to divide custody of your children. You both have a right to spend time with the children, and you can either come up with a custody arrangement that the court will approve or they can create a court order that sets up the arrangement for you.

But does the same thing happen with your dog? The family pet is far more than just a piece of property, at least in your mind. It is also a member of your family. So do you need a custody plan and do you have any sort of inherent rights to consider?

The law still sees your dog as property

You may see your dog is a part of the family, but the law still sees the dog as property. He or she is an asset that you purchased and that you now own. If you bought the dog when the two of you were already married, then the dog is a marital asset that has to be divided. The only realistic way to do this is for the court to give the dog to one person and to give the other person an asset with a similar value.

Of course, if you and your ex are on good terms, the two of you are absolutely free to create some sort of exchange schedule yourselves. You may just want to make it the same as the custody arrangement for your children, considering it is also their pet. But just know that the court is not going to rule this way because you don’t have custody rights for a pet.

If your divorce gets complicated, it’s very important to know about all of the legal steps you need to take. 


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