There is no question that pets play an important role in the lives of many. Depending upon the situation, in some cases they are considered to be a member of the family. This of course, makes the determination of what will happen to that pet difficult when a couple decides to divorce.
Despite being referred to by many as “fur babies,” under the law in Indiana, where divorce is concerned, pets are treated as personal property. Some people are addressing the way in which custody and care of the pet will be handled via agreements referred to as “Pet Nup” agreements.
Readers may be aware that traditional prenuptial agreements are designed to address matters pertaining to the ownership of property, but cannot create agreements regarding child custody and visitation. Because pets are considered property however, such an agreement may be valid.
Only time will tell whether the determination of custody and visitation is relation to pets is approached the same as with children. While it is possible that some jurisdictions already rely upon the “best interest” of the pet approach, things could be formalized.
Deciding what will happen with pets in the course of a divorce is only one of many issues that may need to be addressed. Of course, as is the case with other matters that need to be worked through in the course of a divorce, when it comes to how to create a comprehensive plan to care for a pet, a family law lawyer can be of assistance.