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Who Gets the Pets in an Ohio Divorce

When undergoing divorce proceedings, Most people start thinking about what matters most to them. If you were to decide, would you agree to give up all the other assets to keep your family home? Will you seek any financial support after the divorce?

For some people, ensuring that they remain with their pets is a top priority. This is easy to understand, and you will not be alone if caring for pets is one of the most crucial things that come to your mind.

Who has Pet Custody in Ohio?

Unfortunately, it does not matter how much the pet feels like a member of the family; they will be considered property under Ohio law. This approach is an indication that the pets will be treated as personal property. Technically they are subject to an equitable distribution just like any other assets that you both shared during the marriage.

Since equitable distribution determines custody, divorcing pet owners should consider other outlying factors before letting the court decide who will have “custody.” As such, there are several steps for the determination of pet ownership and their custody following the divorce.

1. What Does the Prenuptial Agreement Say About the Pet?

If both of you had signed a prenuptial agreement before, you may want the attorney to review the agreements to see what it includes regarding the pet owner if there happens to be a divorce. The attorney should consider looking at it to determine whether it can hold up in courts.

2. Mediation, Negotiation or Collaborative Law?

When you lack a “pet prenup,” it means that both of you are most likely to resolve the pet ownership issues through informal negotiations. The marital settlement can also include any provisions for the financial support for pet care and other expenses.

3. Going to the Court for Pet Ownership Resolution

If you are still not able to come to an agreement, turning to the courts may be their last option. The pet will still be considered property in the divorce, but the court might keep some factors in mind when they decide who should retain ownership.

When determining who should keep the family pet in divorce, then the Ohio courts might consider the following:

  • Who took the primary responsibility for the pet’s daily needs?

  • Who used to purchase food for the pet?

  • Who took the pet to a veterinarian?

Pets are a part of the family, and it can be just as difficult deciding who will get to keep them after a divorce. Our Columbus divorce lawyer is always available to discuss your divorce and property division matters further and help you determine the best course of action to take in future endeavors.

Set up a consultation to discuss your divorce with Law Offices of William L. Geary today by calling us at (614) 289-1227.

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