The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Who Gets The Pets In A Divorce? What You Need To Consider When Fighting Over Fido The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Who Gets The Pets In A Divorce? What You Need To Consider When Fighting Over Fido

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Who Gets The Pets In A Divorce? What You Need To Consider When Fighting Over Fido

You might think of your dog as your fur child, but the law would not agree.

“In the eyes of the law, they are really no different than the silverware, the cars, the home,” says Joyce Tischler, director of litigation for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

But in more and more American homes, splitting the pets could get pretty contentious.

Consider the numbers. Sixty-three percent — 71.1 million — of U.S. households own pets, according to the latest National Pet Owners Survey. The bulk of those animals are dogs — about 44 million. Americans are expected to spend about $41 billion on their pets this year, a $24 billion increase since 1994, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

Then throw in lifestyle and societal changes: more couples have fewer children than a generation or two ago and view their pets as their kids or companions, owners pay $2,000 for an orthopedist to reconstruct a dog’s knee; designers such as Isaac Mizrahi create pink trench coats and white tulle bridal dresses for the fashion-conscious canine whose owner shops at Target, and high-end pet stores sell rhinestone-studded dog collars, peanut butter biscotti instead of run-of-the-mill dog treats, and strollers for the walking-averse pampered pooch.

“When you put all of that together, it’s no wonder that we’re beginning to see an increasing number of custody battles involving companion animals,” Tischler says.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers conducted a poll of 1,500 members and nearly a quarter said they had noticed an increase in custody issues of pets. Judges have had to determine not only who gets the dog but whether one party has the right even to see the dog after the marriage breaks up.

To read more on this story, click here: Who Gets The Pets In A Divorce? What You Need To Consider When Fighting Over Fido

/