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Property division during divorce may involve family pet

On Behalf of | May 9, 2014 | Property Division |

People who are going through a divorce will likely disagree about who gets to keep the home or the kids in California. However, it’s also common for the pair to not agree on who will get to keep the family dog. This happened in a recent out-of-state case involving property division, where a man ended up getting custody of the dog because the court said the wife treated the dog more like a human instead of a pet.

In this case, the married couple agreed on how to split their finances and property, and they had no children. However, they could not see eye-to-eye on who would end up with the dog. The court determined that the 11-year-old pet would go with the person who best cared for her while the couple were married.

The man took the dog to work daily, while the wife said she took care of the dog on a daily basis. However, the court said that the man was the best fit for the dog since the dog already was used to heading to the job site with him. In addition, the court ruled that the man treated the pet as though she actually was a dog.

Although the woman disagreed with the decision, preferring shared custody of the pet, a dog is actually considered property. Therefore, unlike a child, a pet must go to one person. When a person in California risks losing the family dog during a divorce proceeding involving property division, he or she has the right to make her case for keeping the pet in court.

Source:, “Babying of Dog Cost Her Custody After Divorce”, Jeff D. Gorman, May 2, 2014


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