Why your dog can make divorce more difficult

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2021 | Divorce & Family Law |

There are a lot of difficult situations that can arise when you’re going through a divorce. Perhaps you want sole custody of the kids and so does your ex, for instance, but you know that you’ll likely have to share custody under a joint parenting plan. Maybe you have significant retirement assets that you need to divide, and you want to make sure that you get what you deserve so that you can still retire.

But, in some cases, it is the simplest things that can cause the biggest issues. For example, what do you do with your dog when you split up?

Do you need a custody plan?

Some people think of their dog like a child. They assume that they’ll need to share ownership and have some sort of custody plan for the dog. This adds a level of complexity to the case, especially if you’re already dealing with custody questions involving your children.

You can make a custody schedule or set up a plan to share ownership of the dog, but the problem here is that the law doesn’t see this the same way that you do. The dog is not a family member and has no rights, legally speaking. It is a piece of property that you bought and paid for, the same way that your computer or your sofa is a piece of property.

Does this mindset really work?

This can lead to some serious issues. Say the court has to divide your assets and gives you the computer and your ex the dog. Financially, this may be an even split, when considering the monetary value of both. But is it really even? You could always just buy another computer. You could technically buy another dog, but it still won’t be your dog that you love.

The law doesn’t take these types of emotional bonds into account. If you and your spouse can’t agree, you could be in for a lengthy legal battle while deciding what should be done. If you do find yourself in this position, it’s wise to know about all of the legal options you have.