How are Pets Handled in a Divorce

Many families have pets, who are loved and treated like members of the family. Often, clients wonder how are pets handled in a divorce case. The answer to how are pets handled in a divorce may surprise you. Under Florida divorce law, the court will not allow for any time-sharing orders. Thus, if a couple wants to share custody of the pet they have to work out themselves. A Florida family law judge cannot order the couple to share custody of a pet as if the pets were children. See Florida divorce case Bennett v. Bennett. This is because Florida law views pets as property, and applies Florida property law, not custody law. If you are considering filing for divorce contact a divorce attorney in Tampa for a consultation. Careful planning and solid legal advice can be a tremendous help when facing divorce.

How are Pets Handled in a Divorce based on Florida Property Law?

How are pets handled in a divorce will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. However, under Florida divorce law, there will not be timesharing. Instead, one of the parties will have sole ownership of the pet. If the party with sole ownership decides to share time with the pets, it will be at his or her own discretion. The judge will have to treat the pet as it would any other form of property in a divorce. The method that Florida has for distributing assets  in a divorce is referred to as equitable distribution. See Florida divorce statute 61.075. Since pets are treated as property in divorce cases, equitable distribution will be applied. For more information on how are pets handled in a divorce under Florida divorce law contact a divorce lawyer for assistance.

In many cases, it is best to reach to an agreement without the necessity for litigation in court. However, if the couple is unable to come to an agreement, the judge will decide possession of the pets by applying Florida’s equitable distribution standard. Click here for more information on equitable distribution. If there are children involved sometimes a judge will choose to keep the pets with the custodial parent to maintain some stability for the children.

How are Pets Handled in a Divorce if Only One Spouse Owns the Pet?

Only marital property is subject to equitable distribution, separate property will remain the property of the spouse who acquired it. Thus, how are pets handled in a divorce will largely depend on whether or not the pet is marital or separate property. For instance, if a spouse acquired the pet prior to the marriage than the pet may be treated as separate property. If the pet is treated as separate property it will not be subject to equitable distribution.

Additionally, a pet can be separate property is if the pet was a gift by someone other than the spouse. In order to be a gift, the pet must be a gift specifically for one spouse and not the other. Gifts just can be treated as separate property in a divorce, even if the gift was received after the marriage. Determining which property is subject to equitable distribution can be difficult, if you need assistance contact a divorce attorney for legal advice.

A divorce case requires a lot of negotiation and a skilled divorce lawyer can use negotiation tactics to help a client acquire the pets in a divorce. Many divorce law firms in Tampa will offer a free consultation for prospective clients. Thus, it may be a good idea to contact a divorce lawyer in Tampa and schedule a free consultation for more information about a specific case. Careful planning and good negotiation tactics can impact the issue of how are pets handled in a divorce.

Tampa Divorce Law Firm

If you need to file for divorce but are concerned about keeping your pets call us to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa. Our divorce lawyers have years of experience helping people in these important matters. Every divorce is different, and our vast experience allows us to cater our services to each client’s individual situation. Whether you agree to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in litigation, Florida Law Advisers can help. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who keeps the pets in a Florida Divorce?
Will there be timesharing for pets in Florida divorce?
Are pets marital property in Florida?
What happens to our dog in a divorce?
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