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Who gets the pets during a divorce?

Saint George, UT |

We don't have children, but do have pets that we both love, and it's hard for both of us to part with any of them. Are there rules in place for this kind of thing?

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Attorney answers 3


As is true with any division of "property" (pets are considered property), there are no hard and fast rules. Your best bet is to try and work something out; however, in my experience, visitation with pets does not often work well. Your respective attorneys can guide you. The Utah State Bar can give you a referral:

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.


No, there is no clear rule about who will get the pets. Normally, the best thing you can do is come to some agreement about them. If you want to work out some sort of visitation that is possible but often leads to complications and frustration between the parties. Good Luck


There are no rules when it comes to pets. Dividing property is far easier than determining who gets the beloved pets, who are often considered children by those who do not have children. Are you on good terms with one another? Judgments have provided for pets and "pet time," but that is generally agreed to by the parties. I have seen issues of this nature really bog down a divorce settlement. I don't believe judges want to be involved in issues of this nature, but someone will have to make the decision if you and your husband can't make the decision.

Neil M. Colman

Mr. Colman is licensed to practice law in Michigan. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Colman strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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