Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

Is my pet considered property during a divorce?

Earlier this year, Alaska saw a new law go into effect. That law requires that courts now take an animal's well-being into consideration during a divorce. It also lets judges consider joint custody of a pet.

While Alaska may be the only state with this type of law, a Rhode Island legislator has introduced a similar bill. However, across most of the country, pets are still considered property in most courtrooms during a divorce.

While this could be hard to fathom for some pet owners, there are some ways that determining who ends up with the beloved animal can be easier. One way is to only put one person's name on the paperwork for the animal. This may be adoption paperwork, but it can also be veterinary records or bills, pet sitting payments and more. That will make it very clear which person has ownership of the animal.

Unfortunately, if the animal is seen as property in court, when you got the animal will matter. If you brought the pet into the marriage, it will likely be seen as non-marital property by the court. If you got the animal after you married, then it would be seen as marital property. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement could specify who would retain possession of the animal if a divorce were to occur.

While it may be too late to consider these options because you have already decided to file for divorce, you may have to give up some other property to get custody of the pet. In order to determine what your options are for dealing with your pet during a divorce, you should ask your Pennsylvania divorce attorney how to proceed.

Source: timestelegram.com, "Who gets the dog in the divorce?," Matt Lindner, April 01, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Pottstown Office
800 East High Street
P.O. Box 444
Pottstown, PA 19464

Toll Free: 866-967-8935
Phone: 610-228-4582
Pottstown Law Office Map

West Chester Office
13 W. Miner Street
West Chester, PA 19382

Toll Free: 866-967-8935
Phone: 610-228-4582
West Chester Law Office Map

Reading Office
606 Court Street., Suite 203
Reading, PA 19601

Toll Free: 866-967-8935
Phone: 610-228-4582
Reading Law Office Map