When you decided that you wanted to get divorced, you also told your spouse that you wanted to take the dog with you. The two of you bought your pet together, but you work from home, so you spend a lot more time with the dog than your spouse. You believe it’s only fair since the two of you have such a bond.
However, your spouse does not agree. Maybe the dog cost thousands of dollars and they’re feeling that investment. Maybe they also have an emotional connection to the dog, despite being around them less. Either way, they don’t want you to simply keep the dog and they tell you that the court is going to have to sort it out during property division. So what is this going to look like?
The court will define your dog as property
Perhaps the most important thing to know is that, if you have the court make this decision on your behalf, they will define your dog as a piece of property that you own. They will look at the dog the same way they would look at any other asset.
This means that the dog enters the property division process, not some sort of custody situation. The best the court can do is give one person the dog and give the other person a different asset with a similar value.
It’s natural that couples who are getting divorced will not feel like this is a fair split, but the court doesn’t have any other option because the pet is just a piece of property. For this reason, it may be better for you and your ex to try to work together to come up with a plan to share the pet, if that’s what you’d like to do. The court is not going to do that for you. In any case, you can see why it’s so important to know about all of your legal options.