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Who gets the pets in a divorce?

Anyone who owns pets knows that they can become beloved members of the family. They are constant companions who are with you through good times and bad times, giving you unconditional love no matter the circumstances. That's why when couples divorce, the four-legged friends can get caught in the middle. Even though you think of them as little humans, the courts think of them as marital property to be divided just like everything else and that can lead to battles between soon-to-be exes.

If you haven't gotten married yet, you can protect your pooch via a prenup. Even if you're already married, you can draft a postnup to keep him with you in the event of a divorce. But if the divorce has already started, you will have to fight for him. So, if your divorce case goes to court and the process of property division begins, what criteria will the court use in determining where Fido and Furball should go? Most of the time, the courts will look at things like:

  • Was the pet brought in after the marriage or did it belong to one partner beforehand?
  • If one partner takes care of the pet more than the other, providing food, walking the dog, taking him or her to the vet and the like, that partner may have a stronger case.
  • The courts will also consider which household better suits the pet in terms of its needs for human interaction and exercise.

As with all matters of property division, it can be an invaluable asset to have an attorney by your side to make sure your best interests are represented in court.

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Our office is conveniently located off Highway 50, just three miles from the Sacramento County Family Courthouse and minutes from Downtown Sacramento. For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards.

Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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