Your pet is a loving and affectionate member of your family. In the event of an impending divorce, you may find yourself fighting for custody of any animal companions in your life.
Animal ownership is a sensitive and complex issue during divorce proceedings. As you try to obtain custody of your pet, you can give yourself an advantage by learning more about the role of animals in a divorce.
How pets factor into your divorce
Many states, including Florida, define the legal status of animals as personal property. In these states, animals are subject to general property division laws, and a court will award pet ownership similar to the way it distributes furniture or other belongings. This could create a point of prolonged contention if both parties in your divorce feel particularly attached to the household pet.
What you can do to keep pet custody
If your pet has been with you since before your marriage began, and you bore the majority of financial responsibility in caring for that animal, then you may be able to establish the pet as separate non-marital property. If you and your spouse were already together when the animal came into the family, you might benefit from turning to neutral divorce mediation and making the case that you are the more suitable caretaker.
Determining pet custody during a divorce case in Florida is a delicate matter of property distribution. If you and your spouse can not come to an amicable agreement about animal ownership, introducing a professional and neutral third party may be the best solution for you and your pet.