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Who Gets the Pet in a Divorce?

Blue merle border collie dog with blue eyes running happily in the field and playing frisby. Happy dog going for a walk and running. Domestic animals and pets.

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Hello Pet-Loving Friends! We understand that our furry companions, both dogs and cats alike are more than just pets; they’re family. Navigating a divorce involves tough decisions, and one aspect often overlooked is deciding who gets to keep the beloved family pet. Let’s dive into this topic with compassion and clarity:

Who Gets the Pet?

In divorce, pets fall under the category of property, governed by Equitable Distribution outlined in Florida Statute 61.075. This means no joint custody for our furry friends; the court will award them to one spouse. While some states give pets special status, Florida courts aim to avoid potential complexities, given their existing workload with child-related matters.

Legal Classification of Pets:

Legally, your cherished pet is considered personal property, much like a family sofa in the eyes of Florida law. It’s essential to understand this classification to navigate the process effectively.

How Does the Court Decide?

The court examines whether the pet is a marital or non-marital asset. If acquired during the marriage, it’s a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. In cases where the pet predates the marriage, it goes to the spouse who originally acquired it. The court may also consider factors like pet care, suitability for custody, and financial capability.

Finding a Solution:

While the court’s decision is final, most parties opt for informal agreements, such as one party taking full ownership or agreeing to visitation. It’s crucial to acknowledge that these arrangements are not legally enforceable, emphasizing the need for collaboration between parties to ensure the best outcome for everyone, including the pet.

We’re here to offer support and guidance through this emotionally challenging time. If you’d like more insights and helpful tips, join our newsletter community:

Do you have a cat or dog and need help with custody of pets through the divorce? We’re ready to assist you on this journey with warmth and understanding. 🌈💬


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