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Addressing custody and care for pets in a divorce

| Jun 3, 2020 | marital agreements

Pets are important members of the family. Deciding what is going to happen to them can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce, and two spouses may not be able to come to an agreement over who should keep the pet and who is financially responsible for it. This is why it is becoming more common for California couples to draft prenuptial agreements specifically for this reason, sometimes called pup nups.

A pup nup outlines what will happen to the family pet if a couple gets a divorce at some point in the future. Like other types of marital agreements, this contract can reduce the chance of additional fighting and disagreements if the marriage ends. It can be tailored to suit the needs and goals of the couple. Details can include terms that address who will get the pet or how the couple will share custody of the animal. It can also outline financial responsibilities for vet bills and other expenses.

Proactive measures can be a wise step for California couples that are about to walk down the aisle. A pup nup may not seem necessary, but it is simply planning for a contingency in the future. With the emotional attachment many have for their pets, drafting this agreement may make sense.

A divorce will require a couple to divide marital assets. Property division can be hard, but it can be even more difficult to address matters pertaining an animal that is viewed more like a child or member of a family. It may be helpful to discuss a pup nup or other type of marital contract with an experienced attorney before saying “I do.”