Highly Experienced In Show Animal Matters

Two options to protect future dog show winnings from divorce

Dog shows are more than just a hobby; they are tradition of pet ownership with roots that often run generations deep. Those who participate in this sport invest a good deal of time and money into the purchase, care, training and competition costs of their pet. In the same way we protect our retirement assets and other forms of property, it is wise to take steps to protect the investment in our dog as well. 

It is not uncommon for pet ownership to become a point of contention during a divorce. The issue is so prevalent that the American Kennel Club includes some information on how to handle the divorce of pet owners within its Procedures for Registration Matters brochure. When it comes to marriage, there are two steps that can help protect this investment:

  • Prenuptial agreement. It is best to address this investment prior to marriage. A prenuptial agreement can govern the distribution of property in the event of a divorce. A prenup can include a provision regarding ownership of a dog or dogs and the details for the disposition of any future winnings.
  • Divorce settlement agreement. Options remain even if a prenuptial agreement is not present or does not address pet ownership issues. In the event of a divorce, the settlement agreement can include a provision discussing this issue. A failure to address these matters could lead to issues in the future. One spouse may contend that he or she should receive the dog or get the winnings. Clearly spelling this out in the settlement agreement can mitigate this risk.

Those who value their pet ownership and find themselves going through a divorce are wise to seek legal counsel experienced in show animal disputes to guide them through this process. Your legal counsel will be able to help craft an agreement that better ensures your wishes are addressed.

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