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Lakeland Family & Divorce Attorney / Lakeland Pet Custody Attorney

Lakeland Pet Custody Attorney

In a Florida divorce, assets are split equitably. If there are children involved, custody is often split 50/50. But what happens to Fido or Fluffy? How are pets split in a divorce? Who gets custody of them?

While many people in Florida consider their pets to be a part of the family, like a child, pets are not split up like kids. In divorce proceedings, the courts will not concern themselves with custody of your dog or cat. To a judge, their concern is the ownership and monetary value of the pet. This can seem callous, but that’s the way the law works.

So if you and your spouse own a pet together and get a divorce, you may be thinking about pet custody. This may seem silly to someone who does not own a pet, but if you have a cat, dog, bird, or other pet in your household, determining who gets to keep the pet is serious business. It can even be one of the most contentious matters in a Florida divorce, especially if the couple does not have minor children.

So here’s the bad part: under Florida law, you cannot seek pet custody. While some states have some degree of pet custody in place, the Sunshine State does not. Pets are treated as property, so the courts will distribute pets based on property division laws. This means one person will get ownership of the pet. If you want to have shared custody of the pet, that is something you will need to agree upon with your ex-spouse.

This can be a frustrating situation. Lakeland pet custody attorney Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law understands how important your pet is to you and can assist you in getting a fair outcome.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property?

To determine how your pet will be split up, first you need to determine if the animal is considered marital or non-marital property. If it is non-marital property, this means that the pet was acquired before marriage and is not subject to split in a divorce. Whoever owned the pet before marriage would be able to keep them.

However, if you and your spouse adopted or bought the pet while married, the pet likely will be classified as marital property. In this case, the animal will be distributed to the spouses based on the same factors used to distribute other marital property.

Contact Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law Today

For many people, pets are just as important as children. When there are no kids involved in a divorce, the couple may wonder what happens to their beloved pets and if custody is an option.

Most people own pets. What are your rights in a Florida divorce? Get the help you need from Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law. We’ll help you get the outcome you desire. Schedule a consultation with a Lakeland pet custody lawyer by calling (863) 619-5291.

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