What Happens to Pets in a Divorce?

Most pet owners treat their pets like children. They love them and try to meet their every need.

Unfortunately, when these couples get divorced, their pet custody can cause serious challenges. Therefore, these are things you should know if you divorce in Texas and have pets.

Separate versus marital property

You and your spouse should make lists of the property you had before you got married and the property you acquired during your marriage. Anything you owned before your marriage is separate property. Separate property stays with the person who owned it before the marriage, while negotiation or the court divides your marital property.

If you adopted your pet prior to your marriage, you will keep it, but if you adopted it with your spouse, custody is a bit more complicated.

Pet visitation is unavailable

When a judge awards child custody, the judge will also approve visitation schedules and parenting plans. Unfortunately, a judge will not create a pet visitation plan. However, you can create a contract between you and your spouse, and once you sign it, it is a binding contract that a judge can enforce.

Custody factors

If you and your spouse cannot agree on pet custody, the judge will consider several factors. First, who cares for the pet most of the time? A judge will consider abuse and neglect. If you have children and they are close to the pet, the judge may award pet custody to the parent with the children. Finally, a judge will consider pet-friendly travel and work schedules.

You can build a case for custody by compiling your adoption application or pet license, an affidavit that you pay for your pet’s medical needs, statements from individuals who see you caring for your pets and receipts for any pet care and supplies.

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