How to Handle the Family Dog During a Divorce

By  | 

80% of Americans view their dogs as family members. So, when a family breaks down, it’s only natural there will be some questions raised over the fate of these family members. 

But what happens to a pet when two people get divorced? For many people, a dog is a part of the family, just like a child. But it can be hard to know what to do with a family dog when you’re facing divorce. 

Looking to know who gets the dog after a divorce? We’ve put together this article to help you understand the issue. Read on for more. 

Remember that Legally Animals are Treated as Property

It’s a harsh truth that all pet owners need to know. Legally, your beloved pet won’t be considered a member of your family. They’ll be considered property, just like the TV or jewelry.

That might be hard to hear. You might look at your beloved dog and wonder how they couldn’t be considered part of the family. But legally, it’s just the way things are, and it’s important to know how the court works when it comes to pets.

When a decision is made on who gets the family dog, the court won’t take into account who pays it the most attention or where it will have the better home. Instead of hearing arguments from a custody lawyer, they’ll look at the cold, hard facts of ownership. Who paid the dog’s adoption fees? 

Keep the Dog’s Interests in Mind

When a divorce court decides who gets a dog, they won’t be keeping the animal’s interests in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t make your own decision to ensure the best outcome for your dog. 

You might have developed a lot of differences with your spouse over the years. Your priorities and perspectives may have changed drastically since the time you got married, but one thing is probably the same. You probably both agree that the dog comes first.

If one spouse can offer a better home or more time for the dog, you might both agree one party should be the one to take ownership.

Make a Compromise

Remember, an agreement about what happens to a pet doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There are lots of creative ways you can deal with the situation to ensure everyone is happy. 

By working together, you could create a pet custody agreement. Perhaps you could share your dog, by taking care of it on a week on week off basis. Or you could arrange regular visits on a day that suits you both.

Work Together For Your Family Dog

Getting a divorce is a tough time for anyone. And when a family dog gets thrown into the mix, things only get harder. By staying cool and working together, you can come to a resolution that suits everyone. 

We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about pet custody laws. Looking for more quality content? Check out our blog!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply