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Pets likely considered property in a divorce

The range of issues that Houston couples must contend with in the face of a divorce is wide and numerous. A typical divorce process involves, at a minimum, some property division which in and of itself has multiple sub-components. Add in other divorce legal issues such as child custody, parental relocation decisions, spousal support and more and the complexity of a divorce can skyrocket.

With emotions running high when the end of a marriage is realized, the ability to make appropriate decisions about who gets what can be compromised. For some couples, this can extend beyond parenting time calculations for children and even include their family pets. One Florida woman was originally awarded visitation for the dog that she and her former husband shared but found that decision overturned by the court which identified the dog as simply another piece of property to be divided and done.

According to a recent media article, more and more Americans today attempt to have custody and visitation plans for pets, mostly dogs, included in their divorces. Whether or not all courts would rule as the Florida one did is unsure but the article indicates that the general trend of considering pets as property seems to be common.

The concern about what to do with a pet during a divorce is real and illustrates the level of emotional challenge that can be faced in the process. Having good legal counsel can help by providing a third-party to help guide you through and make clear decisions. If you are facing a divorce, with or without pets, talking to an attorney may be helpful for you.

Source: Huffington Post, “Who Gets The Pets In A Divorce? What You Need To Consider When Fighting Over Fido,” Maria Moya, January 19, 2014

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