If you are going through a divorce and have a dog that both you and your spouse love, it can be difficult to know where to place the pet after the divorce is final. This is especially true if you both want to own it. Because many people treat pets like one of their family it is almost like getting custody of children. To help with this situation, below are two tips so you and your spouse, as well as your pet, will all be happy in the end.
Pets Are Property
According to law, a pet is listed as personal property just like other property you may own, such as your home, land, vehicles, etc. If you and your spouse cannot agree on custody, it will go before the court and a judge will determine who gets the pet. There are many things the judge will do to help them decide who gets the pet. They try their best to choose custody to the right person to ensure the pet is happy.
The court has the choice of applying community property laws or equal distribution. In normal property ownership, the judge will give you half and your spouse half. This means the dog will spend halftime at your home and the other half at your spouse's home.
With equal distribution, the court tries its best to be fair when dividing property. However, with equal distribution, this may not be equal. Before the judge considers this type depends on many things. For example, you or your spouse's future earning, how long you have been married, etc.
The exact laws for choosing normal property ownership or equal distribution will depend on the state that you live in.
Once the court decides on how they are going to separate your property, they will then look at everything to ensure the dog can be divided. For example, if you purchased the dog before you and your spouse got married, your spouse may not be eligible to have any type of custody of the dog.
Worth of Property
The court will make a list of all your property to determine how much everything is worth, including your pet. For example, if you have a purebred you may have spent a lot of money on the pet. Along with this, there has been likely veterinarian bills, grooming charges, and more. If you purchased the dog you will have to show the judge proof, such as a sales receipt, from the owner you purchased the dog from.
Contact a divorce attorney or law firm like Maruca Law if you need help with your divorce. They can go over this information with you in much more detail.