Many people have heard that divorce is hard and expensive. However, not many people think about pets in a divorce. As a Houston Divorce Lawyer, I will discuss applicable law and important considerations in regards to pets in a Texas Divorce Case.
You and your spouse are not the only ones affected by a divorce. Sometimes pets suffer as well and can be used as tools by your ex to make you suffer as well. Things to think about in regard to your pet and divorce include:
Threating a Pet is Family Violence
Threatening or hurting a pet is a form of family violence. Should your spouse threaten pet violence you can make a police report or seek a restraining order. Montgomery County already has a provision in its Standing Order that goes into effect once a divorce is filed to protect Pets.
Texas law prohibits a person named in a protective order from taking possession of an animal. In 2013, the Texas Penal Code was amended to specify what the possession of a pet, assistance animal, or companion animal means.
Who gets to the Pet in a Divorce?
Thought should be given on who is going to get the pet in the divorce. Some of the divorces I have handled have special sections proving for visitation and shared expenses during and after the divorce. Some people chose to share the pet after a divorce.
However, if that is not the directions you and spouse choose to go a Court will base their decision on property law in Texas unless you are able to show that your pet pooch should be considered your separate property. To do so you must prove that you owned your pet prior to the marriage or that the pet was gifted or willed to you during the course of the marriage.
Pets may play an important value in a divorce even though market value may be $10 for a rescue or thousands for special breed, the intrinsic and emotional value can hang up the settlement of a multimillion dollar divorce for the “pet parent”. Pet custody disputes are reportedly on the rise according to the April 2014 issue of Forbes.
Something a court will considering when deciding who will get the pet include to following factors:
- Which party primarily takes care of the pet's daily needs such as feeding, walking, grooming, and general care?
- Which party is the pet primarily "attached" to?
- Which party is responsible for training? And
- After the divorce which party is better able to financially care for the pet?
Pet Costs during the Divorce
At some point during the divorce possibly in mediation or Temporary Orders expenses and costs will be a consideration. When you are figuring up your monthly expenses for your attorney and for the family law judge, make sure pet costs including medical and grooming.
A divorce is an often times stressful process for your family and family pet. The lawyers and staff at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are not only experienced advocates for the rights of human beings, but are pet lovers as well. Pet owner or not, we are eager to take on your case and represent your interests.
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.