Pets are a big part of many couples’ lives; they serve as companions and cherished family members to both spouses. As such, many married couples find themselves fighting over the custody of the pet, much like how passionate parents will fight for custody of their children. However, there is a big difference between pets and children in the eyes of the court.

As of now, to the dismay of many, pets are considered property in divorce cases. As per any other battle over property, the court will decide based upon which spouse can provide evidence of sole ownership prior to the marriage, as well as which spouse provided care to said pet during the marriage and has the ability to provide the necessary care a pet requires once the divorce is finalized. Because many couples consider pets a “family member”, therefore adding much greater value to the pet.

Because of this, courts are meticulous in determining sole custody of the pet, and a lot of negotiation goes into a custody plan.