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Who Gets the Pets in Divorce?

Man is typing on laptop with ginger cat sleeping on keyboard.

Our animals and pets are important members of our family. In fact, child-free couples are becoming a more common phenomenon in America. Instead, these individuals may choose to have pets in their homes. While it is great to have companionship from our pets, it can be worrisome to consider what will happen in the event of a divorce.

To ensure you are prepared for the divorce process, it is important to think about where you and your spouse’s pets will go. Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C. can help explain what role they play in your divorce.

Where Do Pets Play a Role?

While many individuals treat their pets like children, they are not considered as such during the divorce process. In fact, pets actually are included in property and asset division. California is a community property state, meaning that pets fall into this category as well. It is difficult for many pet parents to imagine treating their beloved family members as if they were a car or piece of furniture, but this is what the law requires. Most people do not want to give up their pets, which can lead to a contentious divorce.

How They Are Divided

Determining where pets will go is stressful for divorcing individuals. However, it is important to make decisions with the well-being of the animals in mind. The courts will also take this into account, ensuring that they receive adequate care. Considering the following elements will allow you to make a decision that is in the best interest of your animals:

  • If one spouse is relocating, and if so, how far?

  • If you do have children, who will have primary custody?

  • Which spouse has the time and energy necessary to care for the animals?

  • If you have multiple pets, will splitting them up cause stress?

It is important to make a decision that will cause minimal amounts of stress and disruption for the animals in the home. Divorce can be an emotionally taxing process for them as well.

Folsom Divorce Attorneys

As you navigate your divorce and decide what to do with your beloved pets, an attorney could assist in the process. Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C. is here to help you determine the best arrangement for you and your family. Contact us at (916) 794-4576 to set up a consultation today.