Fighting over the family pet in divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Pets are people too, but NOT according to the law in the State of Florida.  When a family in transition is splitting up the bank accounts, home furnishings and deciding who is to get the fine china and who is to get the big screen tv, the family pets need to be addressed just as if they were a piece of furniture.  Since you can’t divide a dog or cat in half, either the husband or the wife will keep the pet.

Pets are viewed under the law as chattel, or possessions. It is not like a custody issue with visitation afforded the non custodial parent.  However, as an attorney, I have done divorces where the marital settlement agreement signed by the husband and wife, states that the parties agree to some sort of visitation schedule with the family pet.  This is enforceable under contract law, not family law. 

So if you have dogs, cats, horses, or any other family pet, usually the pets go where the children go.  If there is a dispute, the judge will determine the issue for you.   For questions about this subject, consult with one of the attorneys at Robin Roshkind, P.A. by calling 561-835-9091 or click on the ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com.

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