Fighting over Fido: The Real Challenges for Pet Custody


Did you know that typcially in a divorce, pets are treated as personal property? Many Las Vegas families do not realize this fact and are surprised to see their dog or cat listed along side other items that must be divide like cars or jewerly. Most of us consider our pets to be members of the family, so it can be hard to make an evaluation about where our beloved Fluffy should after a split from a spouse.

As with other types of property division, there are some factors to consider when assessing who gets the family pet.

One major factor is often finances, particularly for older pets or pets with special care needs. A court will typically not award "pet support" payments, so the person who ends up with the pet should be able to handle the financial obligation. On the other side of that equation is also the monetary value of the pet. A rare fish or a purebred dog could hold signficant value and that may be a factor in the overall picture of asset division and spousal support payments.

Another potential issue is the children. Depending on their level of attachment to a family pet, the best arrangement may be to have the pet move with them as a part of the overall shared custody arrangement. This could help maintain a sense of normalcy and routine while children go through the difficult transition of living in one home with both parents to traveling between two separate homes.

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