Michael E. Golub, P.A.

Pets and divorce

Many residents in Florida love their pets dearly so it comes as no surprise that when couples get divorced, there can be quite a bit of discord over which spouse will keep the family pet or pets. The New York Times reported that in a 2014 survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, respondents indicated they had seen a jump by as much as 27 percent in the number of divorce cases involving pet custody since 2009.

For a lot time, most courts simply considered Fido, Kitty or other pets to be just like any other piece of property or asset. However, there is a growing push to evaluate the needs of the pet as a living creature to identify the best home for it. In some cases, this might even mean some type of joint custody where both spouses have time with their pet.

Rover.com suggests that a prenuptial agreement may be one way for spouses to proactively avoid the disputes about pets by outlining ahead of time who the animal will live with if the couple eventually gets divorced.

When deciding who a pet will live with, some of the factors to be evaluated might include the lifestyle of each person, the bond the pet has with them and who has historically and currently taken responsibility for care and love of the pet. This includes buying pet food, feeding, walking, grooming and taking the animal to regular or emergency vet appointments. The important point is for people to put the needs of their pet first.

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Michael E. Golub, P.A. 819 West Main Street, Suite B Tavares, FL 32778 Phone: 352-508-1637 Tavares Law Office Map