Highly Experienced In Show Animal Matters

Who gets the dog post-divorce?

The process of getting divorced is trying and challenging for families. Two lives are being disassembled, and if children are involved, that number increases.If you are considering divorce, you have certainly thought about custody of your children, the division of your assets and how matters for the entire family will be handled in the future.

You've heard of different ways in which people have handled these scenarios, but how familiar are you with the ramifications divorce can have on your beloved dog, specifically regarding custody? 

Is your pet considered a source of income?

Is your dog a show dog? Has your dog won monetary awards? Do you bread your dog, and the litters produce an income? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your dog could be considered a valuable asset. Any profits received from the selling of puppies or showing of your dog could be subject to equitable distribution by the courts. In this instance, possession of the dog and income may need to be legally negotiated.

Is your dog non-marital property?

If you brought the dog into the marriage, and can prove as much, you may have the upper-hand in receiving sole ownership of the dog. There are different ways to prove the dog was yours. You may have a vet bill that pre-dates your marriage. Look for a bill of sale, dated receipts for pet supplies, or other documentation.

What can you do?

Under Florida law, in most instances, pets are considered property. This means that you can't be granted custody of your dog as you would your children. You should talk to your soon-to-be ex about your dog and see if you can come to an agreement regarding visitation and custody of your dog. If need be, you may take action with an attorney knowledgeable in show animals and pet agreements.

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