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Who Gets to Keep the Family Pet in a Divorce?

who gets to keep the family pets in a divorce

While many of us consider our pets to be our non-human, furry or feathery children, there are some points to understand in Ohio regarding who gets to keep the family pets in a divorce. Like it or not, pets are considered to be personal property and who gets them is not determined in the same way as a child, nor is a custodial arrangement made in the same way as a child. The court will treat the animal(s) in the same manner as other personal property that is subject to division.

Straightforward ways of determining who keeps the pet

  • The pet was purchased by one party prior to the date of the marriage, making it separate property.
  • What happens to the pet was predetermined in a prenuptial agreement.
  • The couple can agree on who will keep the pet and how or if the other party will assist financially.

If there is no agreement as to who will maintain ownership of the pet and selling the pet to split the earnings is out of the question, the court will decide who gets the fur babies.

What the courts Ohio consider as it relates to who keeps the pet in a divorce:

  • Who primarily cared for the pets during the marriage?
  • Who purchased the pet?
  • Who purchased such basic needs as veterinary care, food, preventative medicine?
  • Has one spouse more obviously bonded with the pet?
  • Which spouse has more appropriate living conditions for the pet?
  • Which spouse is more financially suited to care for the pet?

If you find that you need further clarification on who gets to keep the family pet in a divorce or would like assistance with your divorce, schedule a strategy session with Trolinger Law Offices today.