Skip to main content
(866) 465-5395 Schedule a Consultation (866) 465-5395 Schedule a Consultation

A collaborative divorce may be good for your pet

| |

If you are going through a divorce, you are apt to have a few things on your mind. For example, you may have some anxiety about future finances or separate living arrangements. If you own a dog, cat or another pet, you may also wonder about how your divorce may affect your furry friend. After all, your companion animal cannot continue to live full-time with both you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.

Even though they have personalities and special needs, pets are property under Pennsylvania law. In the Keystone State, divorcing spouses typically receive an equitable share of marital wealth. If you and your partner acquired the animal during your marriage, your pet is likely a marital asset. Because you cannot split your dog or cat into two equitable pieces, either you or your spouse are likely to receive exclusive ownership of the animal.

Negotiating ownership

Collaborative divorces offer a tremendous opportunity for spouses to discuss divorce matters in a less adversarial way. If you believe that you should have sole ownership of your animal, mediating your divorce may be the right approach. That is, you may be able to give up other assets in exchange for keeping your pet. On the other hand, if you have a greater ability to care for the animal than your spouse does, he or she may be willing to surrender ownership without making you turn over something of similar value.

Thinking outside the box

While Pennsylvania law is clear that companion animals are property, mediation may give you the opportunity to come up with a constructive solution. For example, you and your partner may be able to negotiate a visitation and care schedule. If you go this route, though, you may have trouble enforcing the agreement in court.

You probably consider your furry friend to be part of your family. While you must think about how to handle pet ownership before the end of your marriage, a collaborative divorce may give you greater flexibility to reach an acceptable outcome.

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

Jennifer A.

My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

David R.

My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Caitlin B.

Serving Clients at the Following Locations

Bethesda4800 Hampden Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda MD 20814(301) 234-7409view details
Maryland5425 Wisconsin Ave Chevy Chase, MD 20815(301) 889-8085view details
ChicagoTwo Prudential Plaza 180 North Stetson Suite 3500 Chicago, IL 60601(312) 252-2085view details
Schaumburg1750 E. Golf Rd, Suite 382 Schaumburg, IL 60173(630) 491-9670view details
Texas500 W 2nd St Suite 1900 Austin, TX 78701(512) 883-1684view details
Washington DC1717 K Street NW, Suite 900 Washington DC 20006(202) 519-0366view details
Denver7900 E. Union Ave. Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80237(720) 821-6440view details
Princeton475 Wall St, Suite 214, Princeton, NJ 08540 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (609) 917 9560 view details
Linwood210 New Road #15 Linwood, NJ 08221 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (609) 375-0351 view details
Parsippany8 Campus Dr, Parsippany, NJ 07054 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (973) 310-5320 view details
Philadelphia1845 Walnut Street 19th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103(215) 523-6900view details
Montgomery County516 DeKalb Street Suite C Norristown, PA 19401(610) 924-2870view details
Doylestown123 N Broad Street, Doylestown, PA 18901(267) 938-4480view details
Abington1147 Easton Road, Abington PA 19001(610) 890-4833view details
West Chester203 W. Chestnut St., Suite 204
West Chester, PA. 19380
(610) 431-4012view details
schedule a consultation Today
Contact Us Fill out the form or call us today (866) 465-5395