Divorce can be an emotionally challenging time – and one that you may have to endure without the steady and unconditional companionship of your beloved pet if you are not careful. While you love your pet as if it were your child, the court may not view your pet with the same consideration. Traditionally, pets have been considered personal property. That means that the same laws that apply to your jewelry and furniture apply to your pet.
What You Need to Be Prepared For
The worst case scenario is that you lose custody of your pet to your ex-spouse. If you are not prepared that could happen. Additionally, you need to be prepared for the possibility that the court will force you to share:
- Vet bills
- Very important decisions, such as when to put the pet to sleep or continue medical treatment.
How to Avoid Losing Your Pet in a Pennsylvania Divorce
Many people want to avoid all of those scenarios. They simply want to keep their pet. If you want to keep your pet then there are two important things that you can do. First, if you are not yet married (or if you get remarried) create and execute a prenuptial agreement that specifically addresses what will happen to your pet(s) in the case of a future divorce. Second, it is important to consult with an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney for advice about how to keep your pet in a divorce settlement.