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Have you ever considered, who acquires the pets in the divorce?

Have you ever considered, who acquires the pets in the divorce?

  • March 5th, 2021
  • Miranda Fields
  • Comments Off on Have you ever considered, who acquires the pets in the divorce?
  • Family Law – Divorce and Pets 

In a divorce, who gets the pets?

Pets are increasingly considered members of the family. However, under Texas law, pets are considered property, and Texas courts will not issue formal custody or visitation with a pet. Pet ownership is determined differently from child custody. In child visitation and custody cases, the judge always has the final say and looks to the child’s ultimate best interest regarding custody arrangements. When considering pet ownership, the court will look to any legal agreements such as a premarital agreement that establishes the pet’s ownership should the relationship dissolve. If there is no agreement, the court will determine whether the pet is community or separate property. If the pet is community property, the analysis will include what the parties’ roles and responsibilities have been in caring for the pet during the marriage. Also, each party’s ability to care for the pet, the pet’s needs, and which party is more appropriate to care for the pet long-term (i.e., travel schedules or extended hour work requirements) will likely be considered. However, judges tend to keep pets with children in case of divorce. 

A judge will ultimately have the final say, but a legal agreement can help ensure you maintain ownership of your pets should your relationship dissolve. Parties should consider keeping proof that a pet was given to them as a gift during the marriage to support that the pet was a gift and is separate property. For example, a photograph opening a box with a puppy in it Christmas morning or a greeting card that mentions the furry present can help prove that the pet was a gift. 

It’s not fun to think about, but an ounce or prevention can go a long way to ensuring your pet ends up in the right place after the marriage has ended.

  • Ley familiar – el divorcio y las mascotas 

¿Quién se queda con las mascotas en un divorcio?  

Hoy en día las mascotas frecuentemente se consideran miembros de la familia.  Sin embargo, bajo la ley de Texas las mascotas son propiedad y las cortes no emitirán una orden para custodia o visita. La cuestión de a quién pertenece una mascota se considera aparte de la custodia de un niño. En casos de visita y custodia de niños el juez siempre tiene la última palabra y determina los mejores intereses de un niño en cuestiones de custodia. Al considerar a quien le pertenece la mascota, la corte tomara en cuenta cualquier acuerdo, tal como un acuerdo prenupcial.  Si no hay acuerdos, la corte determinara si la mascota es propiedad comunitaria o separada.  Si es propiedad comunitaria, el análisis incluye el papel que cada cónyuge desempeña y las responsabilidades de cada quien para el cuidado de la mascota durante el matrimonio.  También se considerará la habilidad de cada cónyuge para cuidarla y las necesidades de la mascota.  Tenga en mente que en caso de divorcio los jueces suelen dejar las mascotas con los niños.   

Un juez hace la determinación final pero un acuerdo legal le ayuda a poseer sus mascotas en caso de divorcio.  Los cónyuges deben considerar mantener alguna prueba que indica que la mascota fue un regalo, si la recibió durante el matrimonio, para demostrar que es propiedad separada.  

La traducción: Gilberto Solano

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