April 2, 2020

Who Gets the Family Pet in a Divorce in Michigan?

A majority of families in Michigan have a family pet like a dog or cat. These animals are often seen as members of the family and they are treated as such, many times lovingly referred to as “fur babies”. When a couple decides they no longer want to be married who gets the animals can be a contentious issue in a divorce.

In a divorce, pets are considered property and not living and breathing animals that hold a special place in the family. Pets don’t get special visitation rights or custody arrangements in Michigan courts so who gets them in a divorce can be complicated. There are certain factors a person should keep in mind in deciding who gets the family pet. The costs of keeping a pet can run into thousands of dollars each year with food, veterinary bills, grooming costs, daycare, etc. It can also be important to understand which spouse spends the most time with the pet and who will have the children the most.

A divorce can be one of the worst times of a person’s life. There are so many complicated matters to sort out including property division and child support and visitation rights. But pets can also be a matter of contention among couples and who gets them in a divorce can depend on many factors. An attorney who specializes in divorce can help their client with all of their divorce questions. They understand that their client can be feeling upset with all of the changes in their life and they can make sure their client emerges from the divorce ready for a new start.

Pets are valuable members of a family and during a divorce it is important to also keep their best interests in mind. An attorney who specializes in divorce can help their client through this uncertain time and make sure their legal rights are protected.