Do you love your pet? Is your dog considered as much a part of your family as your husband (or wife)? Or, rather, soon-to-be-ex husband (or wife). You are not alone. Pet custody is becoming a huge issue in divorces throughout California and the country.
In fact, a tricky pet custody battle is underway in a court on the other coast. The dog’s owners (and divorcing ex-spouses) consider their dog to be like family, but the law sees pets as personal marital property, to be divided fairly in the divorce. Therefore, the judge hearing the case is required to consider who actually owns the dog, who had to right to give him away, and who has the right to own him now. This is tough because the man claims that his ex-wfie maliciously put the dog up for adoption without his knowledge or consent. His ex-wife admits that she did not inform her ex-husband of the adoption, but insists that it was not done maliciously. The dog has since been adopted by a couple with two other dogs, three cats and three children. The man is asking the court to decide that the adoption is void and to direct the dog returned to him. Yikes!
You can avoid a potential pet custody battle with a well-written prenuptial agreement. If you bring a pet into the marriage, you can clearly state in your prenup that the animal will be yours in the event of a divorce or legal separation. An experienced divorce or family law attorney can help walk you through the steps and make sure you and your favorite pet are protected.
Follow us on Twitter for more divorce news.