Your pets meant the world to you. After a long day at work, they are there to greet you at the door and help you unwind from the stress of it all. However, people don’t often consider what happens to their animal friends when going through a divorce.
We understand how much you care about all family members, including your pets. That’s why Family Law Group is here to help explain what happens to your pets when navigating the divorce process.
Pets as Property
While it may seem insensitive to label pets as property, they are considered as such in the divorce process. Due to this, they undergo the property division process just like any other asset, such as furniture or real estate. Pets can be both marital or separate property. This is dependent on whether or not they were obtained before or during the marriage.
If one spouse entered the marriage with a pet, the court might view it as separate property. However, there is a potential for commingled assets with pets. For example, the other spouse could have covered pet bills, paid for food, or even invested significant amounts of time in caring for the pet. The amount of money and time put into the pet by the other spouse could influence the courts to consider the pet as marital property.
How A Decision is Made
If the pets are considered marital property, the courts will have to decide where they will go. One way this decision may be approached is to take into account which parent will have more custody of the children. The courts may deem it best to keep the children and pets together as much as possible to avoid making further changes to their life structure.
Another consideration taken into account is which person is most capable of providing the necessary care for the pets. For example, if the couple owned dogs together, they should go to the person with a fenced-in yard. If one spouse works long hours or has to travel extensively for work, they may not be able to care for the pets adequately.
Working With Experienced Attorneys
Family Law Group knows how much your pets mean to you. We can help you navigate the complex property division process, even when it includes your animals.
Reach our team today at (703) 552-5072 for more information about the property division process.