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