You have a designer dog that you spent thousands of dollars on. It was expensive, but you know what you like, and you very much wanted that specific breed. You were willing to invest, and you’ve spent thousands more on food, medicine, visits to the vet, and all sorts of other things for this dog.
Now you and your spouse are getting divorced, and the dog is only four years old. Do you need to set up a custody plan the way you would with a child? If not, how do you decide who gets to keep the dog? This is an emotional choice because you’ve bonded with your pet, and it’s also a financial choice because you have so much money invested at this point.
Your dog is property and has to be treated that way in a divorce
First and foremost, remember that dogs are property. This means that you do not need any sort of a custody plan. You don’t have to share custody the way you would with a child when you both have a right to see the child. Instead, the dog is considered property just like a television or a couch. It’s just an asset that you bought.
What this likely means is that you’re going to have to agree to allow your spouse to have other assets if you want to keep the dog. This may mean getting together all of your records of the money that was invested so that you can determine what the dog’s monetary value is, and then your spouse can find other assets that are roughly equal to that value. While you certainly also have the option to sell the dog and split the money, it’s understandable that this would not be something you would prefer.
This is just one of the many decisions you’ll have to make during your divorce, so be sure you know exactly what steps you’ll need to take to secure a brighter future and protect your interests.