Don't Deal With a Personal Injury On Your Own

Don't Deal With a Personal Injury On Your Own

Getting Pet Issues Settled Before Marriage

by Joan Bradley

Many divorcing couples find out the hard way how the law views pets. Pets are still considered property – a throwback to the days when cattle and horses were part of the holdings of a family. Even though the way we think about animals as pets has changed, the law survives and couples that divorce may find the presence of a pet to be a huge area of contention. It doesn't have to be that way, however, so read on and find out how this issue can be addressed in a peremptory fashion.

Used as Barter or as a Weapon

Unfortunately, some people view beloved pets in a divorce situation as the means to manipulate a party into agreeing to their demands. Unless the court is able to see the pet as clearly belonging to one party or the other, the judge's decision on the pet's deposition could be arbitrary. While doing so is unfair, spouses using children or property as a bargaining tool to get what they want in a divorce situation is nothing new.

Enter the Prenuptial Agreement

If you are about to marry, you should know that issues like pet ownership is one of the reasons prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular. These agreements are understandably popular with second marriages but also with people who have managed to acquire a great deal of property prior to marrying. Pets are still considered property but that is one area where prenuptial agreements offer the most benefit. For the most part, prenuptial agreements cannot address anything to do with children but what happens to pets, even future pets, can be set down on paper. These agreements, when reviewed by a lawyer, are legal and enforceable.

How to Address the Pet Issue in the Prenuptial Agreement 

Consider a few of the below points when creating your pet provisions:

  1. While you cannot decide child custody ahead of time using a prenuptial agreement, you can indicate that whoever gets primary custody of the child also gets to keep the dog, cat, or hamster. Since family court judges frequently view the relationship between a child and a pet as important in the well-being of the child, this provision is not just a good idea but will please the court should the issue be contested later on.
  2. Financial issues should be addressed. Pets can be expensive to care for and there should be guidelines on who is to pay for food and veterinary care if ownership is shared.
  3. It's not that unusual for couples to agree they will share custody of a pet should a divorce occur. The exact time divisions should be specified in the provision.

To have your own prenuptial agreement in place that addresses pets and other issues, speak to a family law attorney.


About Me

Don't Deal With a Personal Injury On Your Own

You walk into your favorite grocery store and right away, you slip and fall only to sprain your ankle. You can't perform your job because it requires standing on your feet all day, which means that you can't make any money to support your family while your ankle heals. There was no warning that the floors were wet after being cleaned in the store – so what do you do? It's probably a good idea to think about filing a personal injury lawsuit. Of course, anyone with experience with a personal injury case will tell you just how important it is to work with an attorney throughout the process. I'd like to share insight I've learned through three personal injury cases that I myself have had to go through in the past. I think the information on this website can help people like you, who need some personal injury guidance.