Pets Usually Counted in Property Division- Now Protected in Texas

Divorces can be ugly and happen for a number of different reasons. There can be a lot of information to sift through, especially regarding finances in a high asset divorce. Things like cars, homes, stocks, and 401k’s may stand out. But what about those important assets with no monetary value? Yes, what about pets? In many states, pets are considered part of the asset division process. However, for particularly rough divorces, especially ones where domestic violence was a contributing factor, the pets may need more protection.

Texas has given pets that protection they may need under a law aimed at protecting families subjected to domestic violence. Under the law, the pet cannot be removed from the custody of the protected person or persons. This helps stop the abusive person from harming or threatening to harm the family pet. If a person violates this protective order they can go to jail, the same as if they were to harm a person.

This new law can help families subjected to violence feel safer and not have to worry about the family pet in the divorce proceedings. Because the pet cannot be removed from the care of the protected persons, the abuser cannot get custody of the pet. This ensures it is protected and stays with the correct caretaker in the family. The law in Texas has evolved to protect these animals and their owners.

Pets may not be the first thing thought of when divorce becomes a reality. But they definitely could be one of the most important. Although pets don’t have much monetary value, they have an incredible amount of emotional value to a family going through a divorce. This Texas law will help many families struggling with divorce.

Source:, “Divorce, who gets the pets!?” July 18, 2014

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