Pet custody is a real issue that clients need to have addressed in their divorce proceedings. In fact, one in 20 pet-owning couples are looking to have a pet-nup to outline all the details of pet ownership including contact time and grooming parlours.
What Is a Pet-Nup?
A “pet-nup” is a contract that outlines what happens to the couple’s pet in the event of a breakup.
Last year in the U.K. over 30,000 divorce cases involved a dispute over a pet, including custody disputes.
The first legally binding pet-nup was created in 2014.
Clauses in the pet-nup can include contact time, walking schedule, breeding rules, choice of the groomer, and vet costs.
Why Don’t I Just Include This in With My Divorce and Let the Judge Decide?
Pets are considered property by law. There is no provision for taking care of them. If a couple cannot agree, a judge can simply award the pet to the person who can prove ownership (a receipt of purchase may be enough) or worse order the pet to be sold.
Collaborative law is an excellent way to resolve this and the other issues arising from your separation and divorce.