Can I have custody of my pet in a divorce?

Many people have questions about what is going to happen to the family pet when you’re splitting up. It is an important question because, to many people, their pets are as important as their children. No one wants to consider ever losing a pet so this is a difficult concept for people to face. From a legal point of view, what you need to be aware of is that the court is not going to fashion a custody arrangement or a shared schedule with respect to your pet. The court is going to treat the pet, whatever the pet is, as a type of property. They are going to award the pet to one person or the other, if they need to make that decision. The other party may be compensated monetarily for the loss of that pet. That is the legal way the court would address that issue.

You have flexibility, however, by virtue of making an agreement with the other party, either through mediation or with the assistance of counsel, to address concerns about sharing custody of a pet, or making sure that you’re able to continue to do that. You may not be able to get that remedy with the court, but outside the court, you do have some flexibility, and it’s worth speaking to an attorney about.

If you have questions regarding your particular situation, you may want to consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney who can provide you with assistance in handling this matter.

Ross and Calandrillo, LLC is a full-service divorce and family law firm in Mountainside, New Jersey. For strong legal representation in all of your family law matters, contact Ross and Calandrillo, LLC to schedule a free consultation.