Central Whidbey Island, Washington
1 Front St NW
Coupeville, WA 98239
(360) 678-4407

How Divorce Courts Decide Who Gets the Family Pet December 10, 2018

Central Whidbey Island, Island
How Divorce Courts Decide Who Gets the Family Pet, Central Whidbey Island, Washington

Dogs, cats, and other household pets are often beloved family members, which can lead to bitter conflicts when couples file for divorce. Unfortunately, the law considers animals to be personal property, so courts will generally distribute them as part of the estate rather than establishing a custody or visitation arrangement. If you’re involved in a contentious divorce, a divorce attorney will fight for your rights and increase your chances of keeping your pet.

What Happens to Pets in Divorce Cases?

Courts Consider a Variety of Factors

Because they’re legally considered property, family courts weigh a variety of factors when deciding who will maintain ownership of a pet after a divorce. For instance, if you bought or adopted the animal prior to marriage, the court will generally decide that it isn’t subject to property division.

divorce attorneyThe judge might also consider which spouse spends more time and money taking care of the animal, where the children will live and the strength of their bond with your pet, and whether you can provide an environment in which your dog or cat will be safe and comfortable.

How a Divorce Attorney Can Help

While the law might regard family pets as mere property, no different from your furniture or vehicle, divorce attorneys understand the deep emotional bonds that form between people and their animals. In many cases, they may be able to minimize the emotional trauma of the divorce by helping negotiate an outcome that works for everyone, your pet included. However, if you do have to go to court, they can aggressively protect your interests and fight to achieve the best possible outcome.

 

For over 20 years, McPherson & McPherson Attorneys at Law have provided a level of service that has consistently earned the title of Best Attorney on Whidbey Island. Molly McPherson understands how important your pets can be and will do everything possible to protect your rights and their well-being. Visit Molly’s website to learn more about her divorce representation services, or call (360) 678-4407 to schedule a consultation today.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from McPherson & McPherson Attorneys At Law
How Does Child Custody Work When the Parents Were Never Married?, Central Whidbey Island, Washington
Ending a long-term relationship is never easy, and unfortunately, if you are an unmarried couple, you also don’t have all of the same legal protections married couples have when they...read more
Guardianship vs. Custody, Central Whidbey Island, Washington
When it comes to matters of family law, some subjects are complicated. While describing legal relationships between an adult and a child, some may conflate guardianship and child cus...read more
How to Talk to Kids About Divorce, Central Whidbey Island, Washington
While divorce is never easy, it can be even more difficult when you have children. Many kids don’t know how to process their emotions and might feel like their world is crumbling. Be...read more
A Brief Guide on Seeking Child Support, Central Whidbey Island, Washington
Child support is an ongoing payment from one parent to another to be used for the benefit of the child. It is designed to protect the child from some of the common financial repercus...read more
FAQ About Estate Planning for Small Business Owners , Central Whidbey Island, Washington
If you own a small business, it’s essential to devise a comprehensive estate plan sooner rather than later. Not only will various arrangements preserve your life’s wor...read more