Who Gets The Dog In The Divorce?

As a Las Vegas family law attorney, we see it all. Most recently, we have had a number of cases where divorcing couples cannot decide who is entitled to the family pet. I currently have at least two cases where the only remaining issue for the judge to decide is "who gets the dog?" 

As an avid dog lover myself, it is hard to imagine that someone other than myself might be entitled to my dog. It is difficult to believe that a Court would not consider what is best for my dog or who found the dog or who took care of the dog in considering who might get the dog in a divorce.

It often surprises people getting divorced that the law does not treat pets like children. There is no best interest of the dog standard. Instead, the Court system will treat the dog like property. Dogs are considered no different than a car or a piece of furniture. As a result, the dog can be divided or even sold just like any other marital asset. 

Until such time as pet custody laws come along, there's no "best interest of the pet” standard as exists in child custody cases.  However, in cases where there is a child/pet bond that should be preserved, the pet might end up with the parent who gets the most parenting time with the child. If there are no children, chances are the Court is going to order the divorcing couple to sell the dog or the Court could award the dog to one party and order the party keeping to dog to pay the other person.

Because pets are often loved like family members, who gets custody of the dog after a divorce is often hotly contested. Many people consider their pet to be irreplaceable and often pet parents consider their pets, like their children, to be priceless. Sometimes, couples can agree on a custodial schedule for the dog. However, in the absence of an agreement, it will be up to the judge to decide who, if anyone, gets custody of the dog. 

At Rosenblum Law Offices, we understand that pets are family and if you, or someone you know is going through a divorce and needs help deciding who will get custody of the dog, we can help. Call us today at (702) 433-2889 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case or fill out our on-line form for more information. 

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