After divorce, do you need to share the dog?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2022 | Divorce

If you’re a parent and you’re getting a divorce, you’re likely going to have to share the children in some fashion. This could mean a 50-50 custody split between you and your ex, or it could be divided up in another fashion by the court. In some cases, sole custody is given out, but this is much less common than shared custody.

On the other hand, you and your spouse have a lot of assets that you’ve purchased or acquired during the marriage. You don’t have to share these items, per se, but you have to divide them between the two of you. In some cases, you may have to sell items, such as a home, so that you can split up the money. 

But where does your dog fall in this equation?

Property laws still apply

It’s understandable that people sometimes think of ownership of a pet as something that is more akin to being a parent. They feel that they should probably both share the pet after the divorce because they both have a relationship with it.

The court, however, still uses property division laws when it comes to pets. This means that, unless the two of you can agree on some way to share time with your pet yourselves, the court will simply determine which one of you should keep the dog. Maybe your ex bought the dog before the wedding day and brought them to the marriage, for instance, and so now they’ll get to keep the dog after the divorce.

This is just one of the common divorce questions that people ask, but it shows how things can be complicated and how there may be unexpected results. Be sure you are always well aware of your legal options as you navigate this process. 

FindLaw Network