Divorcing your Spouse may lead to divorcing your pet!
But, how does the Court deal with pets?
Pets are treated as personal property. Sure they eat, sleep and incur expenses, but for Court purposes they might as well be an end table or a foot stool. This in no way minimizes the significant emotional value and relationship, however, a pet owner can have with Frenchy!
In multiple instances “major” issues such as ownership of the home and division of the accounts have been agreed upon while pet custody and responsibilities have been the “lines in the sand’ upon which we will NOT cross.
So if the Court treats Fido as property who gets him? The Court will look at when he was acquired, how, who did the care-taking, and who has the ability to care for the pet, all the while encouraging the parties to agree.
Solomon did not cut the baby in half and the Court will not, in usual circumstances split time with Whiskers. In this instance, if the Court is forced to decide, someone “wins” and someone “loses.”
Your best bet is to enter into a shared custody arrangement and work together to serve the best interests of Jesse. Don’t forget to address how to split those vet bills either.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and has drafted Shared Custody Agreements regarding the family pet, including pet support!
You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@ .