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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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How are pets handled during a divorce?

A majority of the people in Texas are pet owners, and many see their pets as members of the family. When a couple decides that divorce is their best option, a bitter battle might ensue over who keeps the beloved animals. In recent years, it has become more and more common to see pet custody disagreements reaching the courtroom.

People form very strong connections with their pets, often seeing them as best friends or even children. This is often noted by one spouse during a divorce, and used against the other as a bargaining mechanism. Most would rather give up an important asset than forfeit their close relationship with the family pet. 

Pets are considered personal property, and a pre or postnuptial agreement can insure that you will be able to walk away with your pet if you were to divorce your spouse at a future time. If you are going through a divorce and do not have an agreement, keeping custody of your pet could be more emotionally draining than you might imagine.

There are several key questions that are asked when determining who will keep the family pet. If the pet belonged to one person before the marriage, that person normally retains custody. It is important to document who provided the pet with food and care. If there are children involved, the pet might be awarded to the household in which they will reside.

If you are going through a divorce and have questions about your personal property and assets, speaking to an experienced attorney could be beneficial.

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