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Can you get a pet custody schedule?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2022 | Divorce |

If you’re getting divorced and you have children, you need to know that you’re likely going to have a child custody schedule. Shared custody is more common than sole custody, and the court would like to give the children time with both parents when possible. As a result, the parents can either come up with a plan that the court agrees to or the court can make a ruling to give them such a plan.

However, maybe you don’t have children, but you do have a pet. You and your spouse felt like you were expanding your family when you bought this pet, and you do have a close bond with them. They may not be a child, but can you still get a custody schedule from the court?

You would have to make it yourself

As a general rule, the court is not going to give you a pet custody schedule. If you would like to make one, you do have that option. You and your spouse may be able to agree on a schedule to share the pet and then stick to it after the fact. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, and couples who are on good terms will often do so.

However, the reason that the court won’t give you the schedule is that your pet is property, not an actual part of your family. The court does not create custody schedules for property, but simply divides it between two people as they get divorced.

What this means is that you and your soon-to-be ex may not agree on which one of you should get to keep the pet. Maybe you both want to and you can’t agree on a custody schedule. If you go to the court for a resolution, they will simply approach it as a property division issue. For instance, one person could be given home furnishings that have the same financial value as the pet.

Most pet owners consider this to be an unacceptable solution, of course, but the court doesn’t really have any other options. As long as pets are qualified as property, the court has to determine how to divide that property under state law.

A contentious divorce

A divorce that has issues like this may turn contentious, especially if both you and your ex feel that the resolution is unfair. It’s very important for you to know about all the legal options you have.