What Happens to Your Pets During Divorce?

Gounaris Abboud, LPA: Dayton Family Law Attorney

When a family decides to divorce, questions may arise about who will get to keep what had been shared pets of various species.

  • Broadly, laws have been designed to protect the interests of human children in the event of divorce, allowing for mechanisms like shared custody, visitation and alimony to be built into the legal framework of state legal proceedings.

  • Under the law, pets are considered personal property, more similar in the law to a television or snowboard then a child.

  • As a result, in many courts, the decision about where to place a pet will rest solely on who makes a better claim for ownership.

  • Sharing may be possible but it is not an outcome which will be decided in the court under most circumstances.

Pets are such an important aspect of so many people’s lives. As a result, some courts are beginning to view pets more like children. In these specific jurisdictions, legal rights are being granted to pet owners which are more inline with principals of keeping homes together and seeking to allow for shared custody, visitation and even alimony payments to be levied towards pet owners who divorce. Though not all courts are willing to explore family law proceedings in this way, it is not impossible given the increasingly tolerant attitude towards pets and the value they bring to people’s lives that far exceeds that of inanimate objects. Having the right lawyer can help to support securing the result you need.

Your Hometown Dayton Family Law Attorney

The legal standing of pet ownership during divorce continues to evolve but Gounaris Abboud, LPA is a Dayton Family Law expert who can help you to answer any lingering questions about this issue. If you are a pet owner and need legal advice, reach out and begin a free consultation today!

Categories: Family Law, Divorce