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Who Gets the Pet?

Although pets are family, Courts consider them personal property and distributes ownership accordingly. Florida Courts have held,

“dogs must be awarded pursuant to dictates of the equitable distribution statute.”

Determinations as to custody and visitation lead to continuing enforcement and supervision problems. They argue that the court is already overwhelmed with child custody, visitation, and support matters and could not possibly extend that responsibility to animals. Although Courts put your pet in the “property” category, there are ways to look out for your “best friend.”

If you are negotiating your settlement agreement, work out a plan for the pet. The Court will uphold your agreement as a binding contract and will enforce the pet provisions. On the other hand, if your case goes to trial, present evidence to persuade the Court to award this “property” to you for the welfare of the animal. Explain your relationship with the pet and contrast it with the relationship your spouse has with the animal.

Signs of animals stress include:

  • Lesioned appetite
  • Whimpering
  • Lethargy
  • Excessively biting themselves
  • “Accidents” when your pet is separated from you

It is often in the best interest of children and pets for the animal to remain where the children spend the most time. Numerous psychological studies address the positive impact of pets on children going through a divorce.

If you are looking to maintain the possession of your pet, then it is important for you to contact an experienced Charlotte County family law attorney who will fight for you and your family. We understand the importance of a pet and promise to legally fight on their behalf. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Bogle Law and schedule a free, initial consultation. We will evaluate the circumstances of your case and explore your different legal options.


Call our firm at 866.270.8058 today!


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