Pet owners often consider these animals part of the family. In some cases, the pets are like children, while in other families, the pets are the children’s best friends. No matter what role a pet plays in the family dynamic, they can become a very contentious part of a divorce.
In New York, though, judges consider pets as property. Unless a couple can come to some sort of accord, the “custody” of the pets will be determined in the property division. For some couples, splitting up the family home, vehicles and investments is easier than deciding who gets the dog, cat, ferret or other animal.
According to the New York Post, one couple had no difficulty splitting up the rest of their property. However, the two pugs they owned were a different story. The wife thought she would automatically get the pugs because she took care of them. The husband, though, said they were too much a part of his life. It took two attorneys and a legal contract to set out who had the dogs and when. The two now alternate weeks with the dogs.
Property division can be very difficult, especially if the parties allow their emotions to rule their thinking. Instead of going to court to determine who gets everything down to the last piece of silverware, it’s best to decide what is really important to you. Sometimes, divorcing couples simply want to wage war on each other. This is not only expensive and time-consuming, it can be emotionally draining.
At Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C., we realize how difficult divorce can be. Every party is impacted, and if there are children involved, it can be just as hard on them. We work vigorously to protect the rights of our clients and their children. To learn more about divorce and property division, please visit our webpages on the topics.