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Courts might determine custody when it comes to pets

46058032_S.jpgPet lovers in Missouri might be concerned about what can happen to pets during a divorce. There are many situations in which both partners have attachment to a pet, and when the relationship ends, both partners might want to claim their pet. The rules differ around the country; however, in many cases, courts will uphold what has been stated in a premarital agreement by both parties when it comes to their pets.

Whether the spouses want to share custody or not, a court can determine what happens. In some states, the court considers pets as personal property, so the decisions made about the pets are not done in a similar manner to that of custody decisions regarding children. Unlike with children where custody issues are resolved with the best interests of the child, pet decisions are made similarly to contract law. However, while pets are personal property, the court also considers the special relationship between a person and their pet.

During disputes, courts might set hearings to decide who has the biggest claim toward the pet. Depending on the situation, a court might look at the money and effort put into raising and taking care of the pet, at any breeding possibilities or at expectations of awards for pets who compete. For some couples, shared custody of the pet might be a solution similar to parents sharing custody of their children. Additional concerns might include the cost of day care or boarding if necessary. Establishing a premarital agreement regarding the pet in the event that the marriage ends is a good idea to save additional stress and tension.

Since pets are a part of the family and their custody can relate to family law issues, couples might consider consulting with a lawyer who may explain how state law works. The lawyer might also provide assistance in getting a premarital agreement that addresses pet concerns.

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