Deciding what to do with a pet in a divorce can be difficult. The reason for this is that people often feel like their dog is a member of your family – most people do. But the law considers your dog to simply be property.
In other words, under the Georgia law, there is little difference between a dog and a television. If the assets have to be divided between the individuals by the court, they may give the television to one person and the dog to the other. The court considers this to be fair.
Here’s what you should know:
Is this to your benefit?
This can be very problematic because the people involved in the divorce may not share the court’s opinion. They think of the dog like a member of the family, and it is not equal to a television or any other asset.
For this reason, the solution is usually for the couple themselves to devise some sort of schedule to share the pet – if they can come to this conclusion. They can do this simply by putting it on the same schedule as the child custody exchange that the court assigns, for instance. This way, the children are always with their pet, no matter where they’re living at the time.
But a couple typically has to agree on this pet schedule. If you and your ex cannot agree, the court may decide which of the two of you gets to keep the dog depending on who purchased the pet. If you are involved in a contentious divorce involving a pet, you may want to make sure you know what legal options you have.