Who Can Keep the Family Pet During a Divorce?

Dog looking out window

For many of us, our pets are practically members of the family. If you are divorcing your spouse, you likely have some serious concerns about who will keep your beloved pet or if ownership can be shared much like a child custody matter. However, under Texas law, pets are treated more like property rather than children in a divorce.

Deciding What Happens to the Family Pet

In your eyes, your pets are likely much more than property. Unfortunately, when you are in family court and dissolving a marriage, they are property. As such, the first step in determining who gets the pet is assessing if the pet is marital or separate property. For example, if you adopted your pet before your spouse entered your life, the court will likely consider it separate property, and your spouse will have no rights to it.

If you adopted the pet together, however, the situation can become much more challenging. Unlike property, you cannot split a pet in half. In Texas, the answer is to assign pets an economic value, which can be divided between both parties.

Of course, in many cases, there is no monetary substitute that can make up for time with a pet. Under these circumstances, you and your spouse may be better suited to achieve a resolution than court, so consider exploring more collaborative solutions. You may be able to work out an agreement that allows both of you to spend time with the pet rather than having full ownership rights go to one party.

Schedule a Case Review with an Experienced Member of Our Legal Team Today!

Divorce is rarely an easy experience and, if you have a pet, this may also become another difficult obstacle for you to navigate. With the Law Firm of Johnson & Gaskill PLLC on your side, you can feel confident that you will receive the best results for your case. Our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience, which we will use to your advantage. We understand how important your pet is to you and will do what we can to ensure the best possible results for your case.

Reach out to our law firm today at (832) 210-1698 to schedule an initial case review with one of our attorneys to learn more about your legal options and how we can help.