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Who gets the pets in a Georgia divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2022 | Firm News |

If you and your spouse ever consider divorce, you’d both have to commit to a few responsibilities: You’d both have to divide the marital assets, savings and debt; If you have kids, you’ll likely have to plan a child custody order and visitation rights; And, you’ll have to figure out who keeps the dog, cat, fish or bird. 

Divorce is hard enough already, and all of this is a lot to consider. So it may be best to focus on one thing, in particular, that’s simple to explain: Who gets the family pet? Here’s what you should know:

Legally speaking, pets are property

It’s hard to take in the fact that, in the eyes of the law, Georgia considers pets property. In other words, any furry, feathery or scaly friend is no different from a carpet, pillow or instrument. With this in mind, you may be able to discuss a deal with your spouse if it ever comes to the ownership of your pet.

You may argue, however, a few defining factors that might determine who keeps the pet. One thing to consider is who cares for the pet: grooms or feeds the pets and pays for pet bills. Alternatively, if you do have a child, you may consider if your child is bonded with the pet.

Prenups for pets can help

You may have brought your pet into a marriage – and expect to take them with you if it ends. You could make a potential divorce easier by putting your pet into a “pet-nup.” Essentially, a pet-nup works much like a postnup or prenup, which protects assets in a divorce.

If you’re planning for the future and a divorce is coming, you may need to know your options when dealing with the division of your marital property.