How are pets dealt with during a divorce?
Family Courts do not have the jurisdiction to address the issue of pets and do not seem interested in spending resources to do so. The Family Court system will therefore not entertain arguments regarding custody or access arrangements for pets, nor will the Courts entertain requests for the payment of expenses associated with a pet’s care, regardless of how costly they may be. Additionally, the courts will not make orders for the sale of a pet so that parties can share in the division of the sale proceeds as with other assets owned by separating couples.
This means that if you and your spouse are separating and you have pet(s), issues regarding custody will have to be resolved outside of the court system. However, you still have the option of resolving pet related issues with the assistance of legal counsel. You can retain a lawyer to help you negotiate any issues regarding your pets, including resolving these issues via mediation.