Pet ownership is very common in the United States, and many married couples will get a pet soon after they tie the knot. Many of these couples essentially see pets as their children or a part of their family.
This can complicate things if you and your spouse decide to get divorced. You may not have children, so you know that you don’t need a child custody plan. But do you need a custody plan for your pet?
You can share ownership if you set it up yourself
It is possible to set up a plan to share ownership of your pet. If you and your ex are still on good terms, you’re fully free to work with them to create a plan where the pet will live with you on some days and with your ex on other days, or where one of you will visit the pet or take them on weekends. Whatever you would like to do is possible, if the two of you can cooperate.
However, in a situation where two people can’t cooperate and make this plan on their own, the court is not going to step in. This is not a child custody situation, where the court may order that custody has to be shared. Pets are just property in a legal sense. If you and your ex can’t decide who gets to keep the pet after your divorce, the court can rule on which person retains ownership, but it won’t be shared. It will be addressed like any other asset that you own.
This can make the situation rather complicated and contentious. Take the time to look into all of the legal options at your disposal.