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DIVIDING THE DOG IN A DIVORCE

December 20, 2018 | Category: Articles

Impending divorce tends to conjure up images of “custody” (timesharing) battles over children, or disputes surrounding residence in the family home.  But what happens to those other important parts of the family; pets?

Believe it or not, in Florida, pets are treated more like the home than the children during a divorce, even though most people would consider their beloved pooch to be much more similar to the latter.

 

While the case law legal precedent is rather sparse on the subject, pets in Florida are considered property when it comes to “equitable distribution” of the marital estate.  This means courts sometimes have to put an economic value on an otherwise purely sentimental “item.”  The result is that often only one spouse gets to keep the treasured pet, while its economic impact on the divorce remains mostly negligible.

 

This does not mean that parties are without recourse when it comes to their pets.  While the court may not have the power to award “timesharing” over a pet like they do over a child, they typically will honor the parties’ agreement to do so, much like any other binding contract.  At Douglas Law Firm, our experienced family law attorneys are able to help you draft all types of marital contracts and agreements.  Call us today at 800-705-5457 with any questions you may have.  Your first consultation is free.

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