• James Chau

The Issue of Pets and a Divorce

Updated: Oct 17

I recently read an article which raises the question of what happens to the family pets once a divorce occurs. The article confrtons the issue as to whether or not pets should be considered children when dealing with divorce. Most states consider pets property like a car or house, and many couples struggle when it comes to agreeing on who will be receiving the family pet.

In the article, the judge ordered joint custody for the animal and they were to share custody due to both parties wanting the dog and being unsure of how to resolve the matter. As divorce rates increase, more couples choose to forego having children, and pets become more a part of the family. Many people even consider their pets children. In this article, a Maryland judge was faced with task of deciding who a couple’s dog would be awarded to. In this instance the judge listened to both sides and decided the fair thing to do is award joint custody of the dog. The outcome then raises the issue of what to do with an already over loaded family court, with more complex custody arrangements for animals. It could be a potential disaster if this line of legal authority continues.

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