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Pets now a battleground for Texas divorce

In a previous post this blog has already discussed how pets can be protected during divorce from a violent spouse. It has becoming increasingly common for people to count their pets in their assets -- even listing pets in prenuptial agreements also known as "pre-pups." But when this wasn't thought of, it can be a rough-and-tumble argument over who gets to keep their furry friend.

Pet ownership has surged over the years totaling 179 million dogs and cats in homes across America, according to the Humane Society. Many Americans now endure a lengthy court battle to ensure they get to keep their furry companion. One of the most recently publicized pet custody battles occurred when a divorcing lesbian couple argued over custody of their miniature dachshund. One argued that it belonged to her because it was given as a gift and the other claimed it was hers because she financially supported the dog.

The judge ended up using "best for all concerned" standard to settle the disagreement. However, there are few state laws governing how pets are treated in the courtroom and whether they should be considered more like property or more like children. If possible, it is preferable to sign a "pre-pup" if you are at all concerned about the future of Fido.

Pets are continuing to be a hot topic in divorce proceeding around Texas and the country. Even in high asset divorces where there is a lot of money and assets to be divided, the main focus of these negotiations can be the family pets. It is important not to count them out as an asset or a bargaining chip during divorce proceedings. There is always the option to share the animal.

Source: USA Today, "Pets increasingly at the center of divorce battles," Cameron Saucier, Aug. 24, 2014

Source: USA Today, "Pets increasingly at the center of divorce battles," Cameron Saucier, Aug. 24, 2014

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