When you have a family pet that you and your former partner shared, you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of losing this beloved family member in the divorce process. Fortunately, there are certain ways you can work to protect your ownership over your animal.
In the state of Texas, pets are generally considered property that will be allocated to either you or your ex-spouse. In order to gain more control over the allocation of your pet, an attorney may be able to help you argue that your pet should be considered separate property, meaning that he or she was in your possession prior to your marriage or was given as a gift—even if the gift was from your former spouse.
Some judges are more sensitive to the pet “custody” issue than others. One example that occurred recently is a judge who allowed the family dog to enter the courtroom. The separating couple stood at opposite sides of the courtroom and each called the dog. Over 5 attempts, the dog ran to the wife more often than the husband. Therefore, the wife was awarded custody.
Typically, a judge will not extend an opportunity like this to determine the pet’s custody. That is why it is so important to enlist the help of a Houston divorce attorney who understands how much your pet means to you, like attorney Kristy Blurton at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler. She and everyone else at our firm will fight to help you secure a favorable divorce agreement, including “custody” of your beloved pet. Call us today at (713) 802-1777 to learn more.