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The Pet Custody War With a Divorce

Who gets custody of the family dog after a divorce? This is a question that pet owners and animal lovers often have on their mind when filing for the dissolution of marriage. According to an Arizona Republic article written in 2008, pets are for the most part treated as property in a divorce settlement.

Hence, a pet custody case is much different than a case involving child custody. For example, a judge will not usually determine what is in the dog's best interest when deciding on who gets to keep the pooch. This, however, doesn't mean that there are no bitter arguments in court on what should happen to the family pet.

The Huffington Post recently described the most dramatic pet custody battles among celebrity divorces. Among the top was the case involving reality television star Tinsley Mortimer, who apparently now has a joint custody agreement involving her two Chihuahuas. She says that she and her ex-husband have a plan where they alternate each month with who's taking care of the dogs.

Another pet custody case involves celebrity couple Jon and Kate Gosselin and their two German Shepherds. After their separation, Jon reported returned the dogs to their breeder and claimed that Kate refused to care for them in his absence. Yet Kate apparently marched right back to the breeder and demanded one of the dogs back.

Some family lawyers have been pushing to treat pets more like children in divorce cases. But for now, pets are just a complicated step when it comes to property division.

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