St. Louis Divorce Lawyers

Who Will Get the Pet When You Divorce?

In many cases, a divorcing couple doesn’t need to go to court to resolve issues such as who gets the pet.

If you shared a pet with your spouse, you might be worried about who gets the pet when you divorce. This is a common concern for many divorcing people, and we understand how emotional this decision is.

At The Betz Law Firm, we can help you understand what your rights to your pet may be. We can also help you determine if mediation is suitable for your situation. In many cases, a divorcing couple doesn’t need to go to court to resolve issues such as who gets the pet.

Where Will Your Pet Live After the Divorce?

Regardless of your emotional connection with your pet, most courts will view pets the same way they view other property, such as furniture or jewelry. If one person brought the pet into the marriage, they would likely be awarded the pet in the divorce. However, there are several variables that the court may also consider.

First, the court will establish whether the pet is separate or marital property. For instance, was the pet owned by one of the parties when they married? Second, are there children involved? The courts are concerned with the best interests of the children. They may determine that the pet should stay with the kids.

What’s Best for the Pet?

It’s not entirely uncommon for a judge to take the pet’s best interests into account. In substance or physical abuse cases, the judge may decide the pet should live with the non-abusive spouse. They may also consider who has a yard or is better financially able to care for the pet.

How Mediation Can Help

In many cases, a divorcing couple doesn’t need to go to court to resolve issues such as who gets the pet. There are two categories of divorce – contested and uncontested. A contested divorce occurs when neither party can determine the financial or child-related issues, and the decision-making must be left to a judge. In contrast, an uncontested divorce involves both parties working together to resolve all problems and compromise respectfully.

If you and your partner can easily reach decisions with conflict, you can avoid having a judge decide on issues like who your pet will live with. You might be able to work out the visitation of the pet. Most couples can generally agree to these arrangements themselves.

When mediation is suitable for your situation, there are many benefits to choosing this forum. Settling disputes through mediation saves money and time and generally leaves the parties in a better state of mind.

St. Louis Mediation

Our legal practice is focused exclusively on family law. It consists of a staff of experienced professionals who know all the legal issues that can arise during a divorce. Hundreds of clients have been assisted with child custody issues, visitation, support, alimony, division of joint assets, and much more in the mediation process.

Speak With an Experienced Attorney

Our firm uses experience, good communication, and availability to help families get through life changing events.