Who Gets the Pets in a Divorce?

Who Gets the Pets in a Divorce?

When you get a divorce, you not only have to decide on child custody issues and how to divide your assets and debts, you also have to make tough decisions regarding your pets and figure out who is going to get the pets in your divorce. After all, pets are very much a part of your family, and if you got your pets with your spouse, then you both have a right to ownership. When considering pets in a divorce, it’s a good idea to get in contact with a divorce lawyer in Texas who will represent you and your best interests.

Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC in Houston, Texas are certified in mediation, take a collaborative approach with their clients to ensure that their clients reach solutions that work for their families, and are devoted entirely to the practice of family law. We are fierce advocates for our clients and we’d be happy to assist you with any pet issues in your divorce. Reach out to us today for an initial consultation.

Determining Who Gets the Pets in a Divorce

You and your spouse got a dog, a cat, or some other pet together. You love your pet and don’t want to give them up. They provide companionship and support, which is something you need during this tumultuous time. Plus, you believe that they belong with you because you are their primary caretaker.

In Texas, pets are considered property just like any other property you own in a divorce. The way it works with other property is that anything you owned prior to marriage will stay yours after marriage, and anything you got together will be divided. If you acquired the pet before getting married, then that pet is technically your property. If your spouse gifted you a pet, then the court would rule that the pet is yours.

It’s important to note that child custody laws in Texas do not apply to pets. The court is going to weigh a number of factors to determine who gets the pet including who primarily takes care of the pet and each spouse’s work and travel schedule. For instance, if one spouse is always traveling for work and rarely in town, the court may rule that the other spouse gets to keep the pet since they are better equipped to care for it.

If there is any evidence that one spouse abused the pet or didn’t treat it properly, then the court may rule that the other spouse gets to keep the pet. And if you are moving out of your home where your pet resides, and you haven’t been taking care of it, then the court might just say the pet should stay with your spouse.

Unfortunately, Texas law is not as clear about pet custody as it is when it comes to child custody. But by working with a divorce lawyer and your spouse on this issue, you can hopefully reach a good solution for everyone involved.

How Property Division Works in Texas

You may be wondering how the court is going to divide your property, including your pet, in a divorce. Texas is a community property state, which means that all property acquired by you or your spouse during your marriage will be divide. All debts acquired in the marriage will also be divided.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that property and debt will be divided 50/50 in a divorce. The judge is going to weigh all the factors to determine what is “just and right” for dividing property.

The truth of the matter is that every case is different, and the only way you will have a chance at getting what you deserve is by hiring an experienced divorce lawyer who has worked with other couples with pets. They will advocate for you and help you create an agreement where, hopefully, you will still get to see your pet as much as possible.

Contact Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC

If you’re going through a divorce in Texas and you need help with pet issues, you can reach out to Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC for help. We’ll work hard on your divorce agreement and be your source of support in your time of need. Make sure you get in touch online or by calling us at (713) 333-4430. We look forward to hearing from you soon.