Hartley Law Office, LLC

Are dogs considered property in a divorce?

While your dog may be considered a part of the family, when it comes to the law in Ohio, it technical is considered property. However, this does not mean a judge will treat it as such. Courts know dogs are living beings who must be cared for, so they are not as casual when determining ownership as they may be with a car or a piece of art.

According to Mercola, courts understand the emotional connection you have with your family dog and the importance of not treating it like other property in a divorce settlement, which has led to many judges considering dogs as they would a child. They may look at factors, such as who bought the dog, who cares for it the majority of the time and who is in the best place financially to care for it. As with a child, the court may consider the best interest of the animal when deciding on who gets custody.

You also share part of the responsibility when determining how to handle a dog in your divorce. Strive to do what is best for your dog. If you will not be home very much due to your work schedule but your ex-spouse will, then your ex-spouse may provide a better place for the dog to live. Some courts, though, will grant custody arrangements, giving you a chance to have time with the dog. You may also be able to work this into a divorce agreement, so keep that in mind. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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