What Happens to My Fur Babies in a Divorce?

Welcome to Splitsville | Navigating Divorce in a Modern World

Jul 22 2019 • 18 mins

There are many things to consider during a divorce. How will the assets be split? Where do the kids spend the holidays? Who gets the record collection? One question we are starting to hear with regularity is, "who gets custody of the family pets after a divorce?" On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore what happens to pets when a marriage (or any relationship) ends.

Today’s conversation is with Jovanna Mastro, an associate attorney at Touchtone Family Law. Jovanna is a double Gamecock, earning her undergraduate and law degree from the University of South Carolina. As a devoted mother of a fur baby, Jovanna offers a compassionate heart and creative solutions to help clients with pets navigate the divorce process.

As important as your "fur babies" are to you, the court takes a much colder approach, viewing pets as little more than another piece of property. (3:02) For pets purchased prior to the marriage, Jovanna discusses the factors a court uses to determine ownership. (4:24) Of course, pets acquired during the marriage. (7:00)

While courts must step in on occasion, most couples are able to settle pet custody on their own and avoid dragging the dogs (figuratively) into court. Jovanna discusses the necessity of a well-crafted custody agreement and breaks down important factors to consider. (9:08) Jovanna wraps up the episode by discussing how often pets are displaced by divorce, and frequently require fostering or re-homing. (15:40)

If you have questions about what might happen to your pet in a divorce, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com or call 704.936.0062.

The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com