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Is your pet really just a standard asset during divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Property Division

You and your spouse love your pets. They’re a part of the family. In fact, you could even say you treat them like your own children.

Getting attached to your pet isn’t unusual. People love their dogs and cats so much that there are well-noted divorce cases involving pet custody. As a result, some states have started to change the way that they view pets and have decided to allow for custody arrangements rather than seeing the pets as simple assets to be divided.

Kentucky hasn’t taken that step yet. In Kentucky, pets are still seen as marital assets, so if you do go to court, the judge will set up an order for the animals to go to one person or the other. Many judges are beginning to recognize that pets have preferences, so they may be considerate of factors like who cares for the pet more often and what would be in the pet’s best interests, but this isn’t standard law.

Advocates argue that pets are more than assets

Pet advocates do point out that pets are more than personal property. However, there are others who believe that they should be seen as property and valued as such. A pet that cost you $600 could be seen as a valuable asset, and that’s something that could be negotiated with.

What can you do if you want to set up a pet custody schedule?

Many divorcing couples decide that it isn’t fair to their pets to suddenly remove one person or the other from their lives. If you decide that you do want to set up a pet custody schedule, it’s within your power to do so. If you and your spouse can agree on a schedule, for example, a week at one house and then a week at the other, then you can put those terms into your divorce settlement.

It’s not typical to see pet custody schedules in Kentucky yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decide to have one. This is something to discuss while you work on dividing your marital property. You may find that a pet custody schedule is the right choice for your situation.