What Will Happen To My Pet In The Divorce

Serving Families Throughout Palm Beach Gardens

Anyone who’s ever had a beloved pet knows that they’re more than just animals. They worm their way into your heart and become bona fide members of the family. Many of us share our food with them. Some of us share our beds with them. And all of us share our hearts with them. But when it comes to divorce, do the courts treat our four-legged friends as members of the family or as property?

You may have seen the news recently that Alaska has decided to treat pets more like children in divorces. That means the splitting parents can come up with a “parenting plan” that includes terms of custody and visitation rights. Just like courts decide custody based on the best interests of the child, they will consider the well-being of the pets in determining what to do. It makes sense since we know that our pets have feelings and connections with us that our possessions will never have.

In Florida, and most of the rest of the country, our furry friends are still treated as property in a divorce. That means during property division, the pets will be divided in the same way as the couch and the car.

So if you’re going through a divorce in the Sunshine State and you’re worried about who will keep the dog or cat, you may want to have an attorney on your side who understands their importance to you. A family law attorney can walk you through the divorce process and might be able to make sure your pet stays with you.

Source: usatoday.com, “Alaska will treat pets more like kids in divorce courts,” Jonathan Petramala, January 25, 2018

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John Schutz

John Schutz

Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.

Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.

John Schutz

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