Who Gets the Dog After Divorce?
Questions of custody are almost always the most emotional and difficult aspects of a divorce, but with more couples choosing not to have children or getting divorced later in life when children have left the house, the true custody battle may be over fur children.
According to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, respondents reported a 27% increase in pet custody cases over the last five years. If you are considering a divorce and have a beloved pet at home, how will custody be decided? In most states, including California, a pet is still considered an asset, just like your couch or pearl necklace. If you owned your pet before the marriage, you will likely be able to argue that it is a “pre-marital asset.” Unfortunately, your spouse can make the same argument if he or she brought the pet into the relationship.
If possible, try to work out a solution with your spouse. You may even able to negotiate shared custody or visitation rights. If you both want Fluffy and don’t want to share, you’ll have to go in front of a judge and make your case. If you can show that you spent the most time with your pet, fed her, took her on walks, and paid for the vet, you might have a leg up. Ultimately, however, it’s the judge’s decision.
If you want to fight for your pet in divorce, contact the attorneys at Albrecht & Albrecht today.