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Who gets the pets in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2017 | Firm News, Property Division |

If you own pets with your spouse and are going through a divorce in Oregon, then it is natural to be concerned about how the court will handle pet ownership. Pets are not treated like children under the law. Forbes notes that they are considered property. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement through mediation about how to handle the division of pets, then the court will step in and do it.

Your spouse could try to use your animals as a bargaining tool to try to get other property you own. This is especially true if your spouse knows that you care deeply for a pet. Most judges are aware that spouses often use pets as leverage, so if you are in a situation where that is happening, you have a chance to legally win ownership of your dog or cat.

The best way to get the court to award you with your pets is to be prepared before going in front of the judge. The judge will want information about when the pet was obtained, who cares for it regularly and who is going to be best suited to care for it after the divorce. In addition, if you have children and the animal is a family pet, then the judge will likely look at who has custody of the children and try to keep them together with your dog or cat. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.