Jump to Navigation

Sorting out the legal issues around pet ownership at divorce

Dallas couples may be interested in an article discussing how pets are dealt with in a divorce. Because of the way that pets are seen under the law, they will be treated in a particular way.

For divorcing couples that have a pet, there are a few legal options for determining who gets custody. If the pet was owned by one of the spouses prior to the marriage, then it would stay with that spouse after the marriage ends. This is because a pet is legally a piece of property, regardless of how its owners may feel that it is part of the family. Being a piece of property, it can be classified as either pre-marital or marital property. Generally, all property obtained during the marriage is subject to division. When a pet is considered pre-marital property, however, it stays with whoever owned it before the marriage.

Additionally, pets can be governed by either prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements. This means that a couple can have a contract that governs the ownership of the pet should the marriage break up. If none of these apply, however, one spouse may use the other's love of the pet as leverage in any settlement negotiations. They may use pet custody as a way to get the other spouse to concede on alimony or child support issues.

An attorney may be able to help in these negotiations about divorce matters. The attorney may be able to assess the couple's situation, whether related to a pet or any other divorce legal issues, and recommend a negotiation strategy to get a fair result. The attorney may also be able to represent the spouse in front of a judge should negotiations between the couple fail to produce the desired outcome.

Source: Forbes, "How Are Pets Handled In Divorce?", Jeff Landers, April 17, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

[Picture of Bruce Turner]

Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Bruce Turner - Attorney Profile Subscribe to This Blog's Feed

Office Locations

Turner, Bruce E.
1603 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway Suite 280
Dallas, TX 75234

Phone: 800-486-9553
Fax: 214-373-2570
Dallas Law Office Map

FindLaw Network
Bruce Turner with Bennett, Weston LaJone & Turner, P.C.

Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters.